Collecting Patient Information More Easily

Who?

‘Hearing at Home’ is a mobile hearing aid center that works according to an innovative model: Michael Combs, co-owner, or one of his colleagues or employees, attend to patients in their home.

“I’m a mobile hearing center [and a] hearing specialist — I go to people’s homes, healthcare facilities, retirement facilities,” said Michael Combs. “I give full comprehensive testing to patients that are experiencing hearing difficulties [and] I determine how to help people with their hearing needs. If they need hearing aids, I can also fit them with hearing aids right in their home. That’s the bulk of my business.”

This mobile practice was born from a frustration of current industry norms, which either don’t provide an adequately personalized service to patients or charge rates that most can’t afford. And so Combs created a service that reaches out to a rapidly expanding range of patients in the Virginia area. Opened in February, 2016, Hearing at Home already has four employees with plans to add two more treating hundreds of patients. 80% of patients seeking help with their hearing never receive it; Hearing at Home home solves this problem by visiting patients wherever they live and providing “big box pricing, premium first generation hearing devices and the highest level of care and expertise… [without patients ever] having to leave the comforts of home.”

Hearing At Home provides in-home care for residents of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Richmond, Lynchburg and everywhere in between in Virginia. In the same way that healthcare professionals of the past made house calls, in-home care is a specialized service in which hearing professionals visit clients in the comfort of their own home. As most of our clients are older, providing in-home care saves them a commute. It is also economical in the sense that Hearing At Home saves overhead from renting an office, which directly benefits our clients’ pocketbooks.

The Problem

Because his practice is mobile, Combs needs to be able to fill out forms on the go. Combs and his employees travel all over Virginia treating customers and with hundreds of patients, time and efficiency are critical. “I’m a mobile practice, so I need something that has electronic forms, so that I can have mobile signatures or fill things out electronically and have them web-based.”

Before he found PDFfiller, Combs’ solution was clumsy and inefficient. “I had to go to my patients’ house and wait for them to fill out a twenty minute form… everything was just by hand.” A manual solution was costing Combs time and money which meant he couldn’t provide care to as many patients as possible.

Moreover, storing hard copies of patient data forms for the mandatory seven years was expensive and inconvenient, considering Combs’ business is entirely mobile. “Per state laws, I need to keep forms on file for seven years. Being mobile, I don’t have the space to store paper files,” said Combs.

Currently existing electronic solutions weren’t ideal. “I did do something with Adobe Acrobat, but that was just so time consuming, trying to put my form fields in there manually,” said Combs. “I’m pretty versatile with Adobe Acrobat and manipulating forms, but it was just too time consuming.”

“I did a search on the internet and I came across [PDFfiller],” said Combs – and his problems were solved.

The Solution

PDFfiller provided the ideal solution for Combs’ mobile hearing practice and was markedly better than other electronic solutions.

With PDFfiller, Combs’ has solved his mobile document problem – the online, electronic solution is easy:

First, Combs “just add[ed] in the forms I wanted” and made the form fillable using PDFfiller’s drag and drop wizard, which makes it easy to create the “text fields that people could fill out”. “What I’ve created are templates,” Combs said, so that “when I have a new patient, I just open the template, do a save as, make a new form, fill it out, and I download it.”

Once the form was created, Combs could then distribute it in a number of ways. “Most of my clientele are geriatric, sixty years old and above… and now [with PDFfiller] I can send them the form through their cell phone right there and they can sign the contract and the invoices, they can electronically sign right there on the spot, either by typing it in or if they feel more comfortable signing with their finger, I can send it to their mobile phone.”

PDFfiller allows users to distribute forms using a QR code, embedding the form on a website, sending a link to a form, or, using PDFfiller’s proprietary ‘LinkToFill’ feature, you can automatically distribute a form for others to fill out right through PDFfiller’s website. PDFfiller’s ‘SendToSign’ feature makes it easy to have documents signed by others and allows users to send a form for a legally binding electronic signature with the click of a mouse. “I send links to sign in through email [and] I send mobile signatures,” said Combs. Combs uses PDFfiller “several times [a day]”, as does his business partner and his employees. Half of the time Combs sends forms remotely; half the time, patients fill forms out digitally on a tablet on site. Either way, the digital solution is easier for Combs and his patients; it makes the process faster, the information easier to manage, and the storage more efficient.

The digital solution is easy for Combs and his patients. PDFfiller has an easy to use graphical interface and because it is an online service, users can access it from anywhere, at any time, and on any internet-connected device. PDFfiller can even walk clients through the form: “[I like the] little box that pops up ‘Next’, they click it and it tells them the next field. I like the fact that I can assign the order of the text fields, whether it’s a checkbox, whether it’s a phone number, whether it’s an address, I can assign the order I want it to go in. So when they’re filling it out, all they have to do is hit the next button and it goes right to it,” said Combs.

Storing documents is critical for Combs: “Keeping paperwork is cumbersome… we have to keep seven years of [medical] history on a patient , so you can imagine if you have a couple of thousand patients how many forms you would have.” And with PDFfiller, keeping digital copies of important documents is easy and secure: “Being mobile, I don’t have the space to store files, so I store them on a web browser that’s HIPAA controlled. I fill everything out online with [PDFfiller] and I download it and upload it to my [electronic] storage unit, so it’s helped me be paperless.”

With PDFfiller, all of Combs’ medical documents, medical contracts, and invoices are digital, meaning they are accessible from anywhere, easy to store, and easier to input whenever he sees new clients.

The Benefits

Speed

PDFfiller is the fastest way to create, fill out, distribute, and sign electronic documents. “Yeah, [it makes it very much [faster to complete documents]. By using your forms, your website, to digitize my forms, it saves me time and money. We’re talking … several hours a day,” Combs said.

Ease of Use

PDFfiller is easy to use for people of all ages — many of Combs’ clients are geriatrics and, he says, older clientele can deal with digital documents. It’s “very easy [to use]” Combs said, both on his side and the patient side. It’s also easier than other digital solutions including Adobe Acrobat: “There’s a tremendous difference. With Adobe Acrobat, you have to have knowledge of how to manipulate PDFs, how to use the different plug ins to achieve what you want. [With] PDFfiller, you don’t have to be tech savvy to do that, it’s very user friendly.”

Cost Savings

Because PDFfiller helps Combs save so much time, it also helps maximize the number of clients he can serve, meaning his company can make more money and provide better care. “It’s hard for me to quantify my time as money, but as a hearing aid provider, it can be expensive, and I see a lot of people, it can be up in the thousands. If I’m not seeing one patient because I’m doing administration things, it could cost me a couple thousand. The more I can see patients, if I’m seeing a new patient, that could be thousands of dollars that’s in my business, and if I have to do paperwork and am doing it by hand, that prevents me from seeing new patients,” meaning, Combs said, saving of tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Security

“My security is very important to me,” said Combs. And PDFfiller assuages any concern Combs might have by providing high level security to all its users. PDFfiller is completely HIPAA compliant. It relies on Amazon’s S3 servers which combine advanced physical and electronic security to ensure your documents are protected.

PDFfiller also allows users to password protect specific documents for an added layer of protection and enable two-factor authentication, the same level of electronic security most banks use. It also offers ‘Audit Trail’, which allows you to monitor account activity and see any access to your account or changes to your document as well as seeing when and from where they were filled out and signed.

Conclusion

PDFfiller is the best electronic document management solution for healthcare practices.  Because digital technology and patient demands are pushing the healthcare field towards mobile solutions, PDFfiller is the best solution and the perfect way to manage documents on the go.  Absolutely [I would recommend it],” said Combs. “A lot of people in my practice and others are going to be going more mobile and electronic,” meaning an electronic document management platform is an ideal solution. From anywhere, at anytime, and on any internet-connected device, PDFfiller makes your documents accessible and easy to complete, edit, sign, and send.

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