Roster Management System Proven Successful With Increasing Patient
Retention at Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital
A new computerized system designed to track and manage all children
enrolled in the Hughes Spalding Children's Hospital's Pediatric Primary
Care Clinic has yielded successful results, according to Terri McFadden,
M.D., a pediatrician at Hughes Spalding and assistant professor in the
Department of Pediatrics at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Dr. McFadden helped develop the system. Since January 2002, the Roster
Management system has resulted in a 27 percent increase in clinic visits
and overall patient retention rate. The system, established through
a partnership with Advantage Computer Age, Inc. (ACAI), an Atlanta-based
computer consulting company, took just over two years to fully implement.
The purpose of the system
is to manage patient visit history, make contact with patients to encourage
appropriate visits, and to evaluate compliance with health supervision
programs such as the State of Georgia's Health Check program. Hughes
Spalding Children's Hospital provides medical care for children within
the Grady Health System. And while many health systems mail appointment
reminder cards to patients, this is one of the first systems that prompts
parents to make appointments with their child's pediatrician. Without
reminder cards, many parents may forget to bring their children in for
critical medical appointments.
"In the first two years
of life, children are supposed to have nine visits for well care. Keeping
up with this schedule can be a challenge for busy parents," Dr. McFadden
said. "This system takes some of the burden off parents for remembering
well-child appointments. Specifically, our goal is to get children settled
into a medical home and for them to get the care they're supposed to
receive." Plans for the Roster Management system began in 1998 because
of the need to access patients' information quickly and easily for establishing
essential contacts for health check reminders. Managed care also made
it particularly critical for staff to have the ability to access patients'
information as quickly as possible.
In response to Hughes Spalding's
need, ACAI established a method and system for importing CD-based Medicaid
and Peach Care for Kids insurance data into a database system that can
be carefully managed by health care staff. The software, in turn, outputs
health-check screening lists to notify parents when necessary and regular
health checks are due for their infants and children. Postcard reminders
are then generated and mailed to parents.
The system also allows for
information to be separated according to patients' zip codes, age, birth
date, insurance, as well as for specific medical intervention such as
asthma checkups or flu vaccines. It also allows tracking of patient
numbers, specific diagnoses, and peak times when children are most likely
to become sick or need to visit their pediatrician, such as in the spring,
or in the fall when children are heading back to school.
"This system represents our
company's consultative approach to service delivery to the highest degree,"
said Laura Zekoll, president of ACAI. "We worked hard with the Hughes
Spalding staff to get the program where it is today, and as a team,
we created a solution that saves time and money, and helps improve children's
Overall, Dr. McFadden said
the computerized system has helped assess immunizations and provide
other appropriate interventions necessary for children's development.
"When your practice has over
10,000 patients enrolled you need a computerized system to effectively
manage care," Dr. McFadden said. "This system is one of the best ways
to do that," she said.