Many HIM directors at community hospitals and larger healthcare facilities are eager to update their clinical documentation systems with web-based dictation-transcription solutions that include speech recognition technology. But the high cost of new software and the three or more servers required can turn this into an expensive, time-consuming project. Selecting the TA+ ‘Software as a Service’ cloud computing model might be the right solution for your facility, especially when the next-to-nothing initial capital and reduced time investment are considered. With SaaS arrangements, hospitals receive the latest and greatest software without the upfront investment required for a software purchase. It has typically become more economical to pay a monthly SaaS fee, especially when automatic speech recognition (ASR) integration is added to the mix. ASR is powerful software that requires significant hardware processing power but yields dramatic efficiencies and 35% or more payroll cost reductions. When HIM directors consider the transcript grading application and extensive management reporting features that round out the platform, TA+ wins in the ‘most for my money’ value proposition.

If updating HIM systems hasn’t made it to the top of your IT’s priority list, our Software as a Service, cloud-based solution is worthy of consideration. Since TA+ software is remote with SaaS, the impact on a hospital IT department is greatly reduced. Your network staff avoids the purchase and set up of server hardware and leaves the system monitoring to Arrendale. No more 3:00 AM calls to reboot a server. We keep the system humming along in a state-of-the-art data center while the hospital gains Internet access to dictation and transcription. True, your IT department will need to lend a hand with the initial VPN set up and any interface testing, but we appreciate how precious network and interface resources are, so we limit their involvement and conform to their schedules. The overall IT involvement is cut in half or more compared to a traditional installation with onsite servers. Arrendale directs the entire project from scheduling the weekly conference calls to showing up for hands-on training the week of go-live. Here’s how Kay Patterson, Client Executive for CareTech Solutions, IS Services Director for Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan, summarized their 2010 TA+ SaaS install, “Your team has just left and I want to take the time to extend our appreciation. The implementation has been very smooth, a few adjustments here and there, nothing of any significance. Your team was fantastic to work with, very knowledgeable, level headed, and accommodating.”

CFO types quickly pick up on the elimination of a hefty annual support invoice when going to the SaaS model. With no server hardware to purchase or dictator licenses for speech recognition, upfront costs are dramatically reduced. For community hospital sites that have not invested in an interface engine, our team will implement and manage HL7 interface engine software and services as a bonus, delivering transcripts to additional hospital systems. Avoiding the cost of an interface engine easily justifies the monthly expenditure for the TA+ platform. Knowing the fixed monthly cost makes budgeting easier and the small training fee moves this project to the ‘Let’s get it done’ column. “As a long term customer of Arrendale Associates, the hosted TA+ solution was a natural progression of what was already a great transcription solution. Not only was it a cost effective choice, but has proved to be extremely reliable for us as well,” comments Mike Sindelar, VP Finance for Fremont Area Medical Center, Fremont, NE.

Probably the most popular aspect for an HIM director with the SaaS model is the convenience of Internet access to transcripts, voice files and management reports. Directors can run reports for transcriptionist productivity at any time or place and analyze turnaround times with a variety of reports. One glance at the TA+ Job Monitor screen gives a current snapshot, with real-time details of Stats, dictation minutes, transcripts in a QA status and overdue jobs. When most of an HIM staff works from home, having access to an MT’s job queue and productivity is very helpful. Denise Dyson, RHIT, Assistant Director HIM, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Hickory, NC sums it up, “We have reaped the benefits from TA+ with improved turnaround, the ability to correct mistakes, and more efficiency for transcriptionists”. The TA+ platform includes a transcript scoring module that saves time for transcription managers. Transcripts graded online can be shared, so no more faxing corrections to printed transcripts for MT training. For information on SaaS options with TA+, call 800.344.1323 option 2.

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