Case Study: A Utilization Manager’s Experience Digitizing Paper-Based Workflows and Referral Management Processes

About the Health System

This hospital serves one of the smallest operating regions in Hawaii.  They play a key role in transitions of care and facilitating members’ connections to community resources.  Given Hawaii’s remote location on an island, they face limited resources and accessibility to beds, which can lead to more hospital re-admissions and/or longer hospital stays since there are fewer options to transition members to.

Paper-Based Referral Management

Traditionally, Sharie Torres, a Utilization Manager at the hospital, and her team relied on hundreds of paper-driven processes to identify providers and make referrals.  They used Excel spreadsheets, Post-it notes and little black books of contacts.  Because the team often worked remotely and travelled to different sites, there would often be a lag responding to a request to identify a provider.  Sometimes, Sharie and her team needed to wait until they were back in the office with their papers to identify a provider, which added hours to the process.

Moving to Digitized Referral Management with LivWell Health

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Sharie and her team engaged with LivWell Health to address these inefficiencies and help them digitize the process of finding a provider and making an inquiry/referral to community resources.

The first phase of this process was a tedious, but necessary one.  Sharie and her team collected data from thousands of different providers.  They had to ensure that this data was comprehensive and accurate, which was no small task.  During this process, they found that some of the data was missing, outdated or incorrect and it was very time-consuming to address these gaps.  Overall, the data gathering took a few months.  Once they had the data, Sharie’s team sent it to LivWell Health who entered it into a central repository. 

Then, the fun part began.  LivWell co-developed the user interface with Sharie and her team.  They began by showing Sharie’s team various interface options; Sharie’s team provided feedback based on their needs and LivWell Health customized the solution accordingly.

Today, the solution has been tested and deployed and hundreds of paper-based processes have been transitioned to LivWell Health's faster, easier and more efficient digitized solution.  Sharie and her team enjoy significant time savings and reduced effort as a result of this centralized repository, particularly the flexibility they have to identify and refer providers from their phone or laptop.