AMSURG Case Study

Surgical Services Firm Speeds Search and Retrieval of Vital Documents with KnowledgeLake

AMSURG is a healthcare company with two business units that operate across the United States. Its Ambulatory Services Division acquires, develops, and operates ambulatory surgery centers, or ASCs, in partnership with physician practice groups. The ASCs can provide greater convenience for patients and more scheduling flexibility and faster turnaround time between cases for physicians.

AMSURG also has a Physician Services division that provides outsourced services in multiple specialties, including anesthesia, emergency medicine, and radiology.

 

BUSINESS NEEDS

AMSURG has a large presence nationwide. It has more than 250 ASCs in 34 states and provides physician services in 24 states, employing more than 2,800 physicians and other healthcare professionals. This vast network of healthcare facilities and practitioners generates an immense amount of financial documentation, particularly at the end of each month.

The methods that the company used in the past for backing up its accounting documents were outdated and inefficient

“Our accounting team was recording journal entries electronically but we had no way to electronically store the related documentation” says Corey Cross, senior network administrator for the company’s IT department. “People were printing out copies of documents—including screen shots of journal entries—for backup and then putting these paper documents in boxes.”

The company kept the boxes in the office for a year, after which they were shipped to an off-site facility for long-term storage.

“When any kind of research was required, our staff could spend hours going through the boxes looking for the right documents,” Cross says. “And it got worse when the boxes were off site. They would put in a request for a specific document but it could involve looking through years’ worth of boxes. It could take days. We knew that there had to be a better way to manage our journal entries so they could be both easily stored and easily retrieved.”

SOLUTION

AMSURG provides ambulatory surgical facilities and surgical services across the United States. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company reported revenues of $2.56 billion in 2015.

Healthcare

AMSURG decided to deploy an enterprise content management (ECM) system that would integrate with its existing Microsoft SharePoint system. It evaluated solutions from several vendors, including OpenText, PSIGEN, OnBase, and PaperVision from Digitech, but decided to install a KnowledgeLake ECM solution.

“We had already invested heavily in Microsoft SharePoint, and our users are quite familiar with it,” says Cross.
“KnowledgeLake’s seamless integration with SharePoint combined with the functionality that we were looking for made KnowledgeLake a natural fit.”

The company deployed several KnowledgeLake products. These include KnowledgeLake Unify, which surfaces SharePoint content to AMSURG’s line of business applications, making it quick and easy for employees to search, reference, and archive documents in SharePoint without leaving the business application they’re working in. The company also uses KnowledgeLake Connect, which integrates with Microsoft Office applications to enable direct uploading of Office content into SharePoint without extra clicks or opening browsers.

On the backend, the company uses KnowledgeLake Capture, a high-volume document capture solution, and KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which supports functions such as search, indexing, viewing and editing of documents.

AMSURG deployed the KnowledgeLake solution in two phases. The first focused on archiving large volumes of existing paper documents generated by the accounting department. These were scanned using Canon enterprise scanners.

The second phase, which went live in early 2016, involves loading digitized versions of journal entry back up instantly into SharePoint, where they are accessible to AMSURG personnel regardless of their location.

“The KnowledgeLake products let us eliminate the old process of printing documents and storing these paper files in boxes, replacing it with a dramatically better electronic workflow,

- Senior Network Administrator

“The time savings that accrue by eliminating cumbersome manual searches can be put towards more productive activities, which will help us recover our initial costs for the system.”

- Senior Network Administrator

BENEFITS

Ease of Integration

The tight integration of KnowledgeLake products with SharePoint also made deployment relatively easy for the IT department.

“We use SmartStream software in our accounting department, and the integration with KnowledgeLake Unify was incredibly simple,” Cross says. “It took me about 15 minutes using the wizards. It was great because we didn’t have to engage some third party and incur extra expense. KnowledgeLake makes it easy to integrate their products into existing enterprise systems.”

Boosting Productivity

The new solution enabled AMSURG to streamline a critical business operation.

“The KnowledgeLake products let us eliminate the old process of printing documents and storing these paper files in boxes, replacing it with a dramatically better electronic workflow,” says Cross. “Closing the books on our centers requires a lot of supporting documentation and effort. Moving to KnowledgeLake has allowed our accounting staff to find the documents much more easily and quickly.”

He also credits KnowledgeLake Unify with streamlining  the document upload process. “Our accountants can key in information from inside the accounting software they’re already working in, instead of moving back and forth into a secondary system,” Cross says. “That eliminates cutting and pasting of information – and the potential for human error.”

Ease of Retrieval

“Obtaining stored journal documents could be a very frustrating process in the past, consuming hours or days of valuable time,” Cross says. “With the KnowledgeLake ECM solution, it literally takes a matter of seconds to find and open a stored document.”

He says the reduced time needed for document retrieval means employees can spend more time on productive tasks. “We now have about 100 users accessing the KnowledgeLake solution,” Cross says. “The time savings that accrue by eliminating cumbersome manual searches can be put towards more productive activities, which will help us recover our initial costs for the system.”

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