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June 10, 2021

Critical Access Hospital System Maximizes Efficiencies and Savings with Updox

"With Updox, we’re saving about 15 minutes per patient with an online form versus calling each patient to get their information prior to vaccination."


Huggins Hospital is a 25-bed non-profit Critical Access Hospital in New Hampshire and also includes 10 primary and specialty care offices serving 30,000 year-round residents and more than 120,000 seasonal residents during the summer months. They sought a way to expand their faxing capabilities, reduce calls to their Help Desk, lower overhead costs and eliminate down-time. Their research brought them to Updox Electronic Fax to help them manage 12,000 faxes, more than 51,000 fax pages, a month. After their success with paperless faxing, they’ve actually expanded their Updox solutions to include Video Chat, Secure Text and Electronic Forms.

Before Updox, the team used an electronic fax solution but also had paper faxing in some offices. Melanie MacMullin, Patient Access director for Huggins Hospital, said “Updox really allowed us to streamline the process and standardize the way documents come into the electronic medical records. We’ve set up a naming convention and use queues and tags to route items for faster action. Paper doesn’t go missing, faxes aren’t lost and information is HIPAA compliant. Everything is acted upon correctly – in a standard and timely manner – which is key for our work,” she says. “An additional benefit is improved provider satisfaction. Physicians only see what they need to see and act up – they don’t have to dig through additional documents.”

Their implementation process involved testing each solution within their IT department first, then piloting with a few key practices to ensure the process worked well and finally rolling it out over time to remaining locations.

The flexibility that Updox offers was essential to Huggins Hospital’s success with the solution. “One of the main things we were able to do is to organize upfront how we wanted to implement Updox from a user perspective,” said Ron Desharnais, senior application analyst for Huggins Hospital. “That helped a lot with keeping information flowing correctly and avoiding bottlenecks. We’re a large organization and we needed a solution that worked for us – not rearranging ourselves to a solution. The whole process just works better for our organization. With queues and tags to route items directly to those involved, staff only see the items that are specific to their department or practice. As a result, it frees up a lot of time and eliminates rework.”

During the pandemic and subsequent vaccine distribution, Huggins Hospital opted to use Updox Video Chat, Secure Texting and Electronic Forms. “Forms has been great for our organization to pre-register the public for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of Information Technology for Huggins Hospital. “We were providing about 220 vaccines a day and that’s a lot of paperwork and record-keeping. Now, we can get text forms to patients and they complete them from their phone to capture their demographic information and consent. With Updox, we’re saving about 15 minutes per patient with an online form versus calling each patient to get their information prior to vaccination.

While the team implemented faxing prior to the pandemic, they were able to be even more efficient as a result of their use of Updox. “It did provide an opportunity to have remote work flexibility,” said Melanie. “Faxes can be accessed anywhere – even at home. Currently, we’re operating in a hybrid work model so we're able to lessen the number of people working on-site but our access to information isn’t impacted.

“Updox has been very responsive anytime we needed them,” said Patrick. “It’s been a lot of change. We implemented their systems, migrated from one EMR to another, added additional functionality and went through a pandemic. It’s been so easy to work with the Updox team. They’ve been right by our side. “I think this is good when your client base can say that they feel supported with this tool and we definitely feel that way with Updox.”

Learn more about how Updox helps hospitals and health systems.


Topics: Success Stories, telehealth, hospital, electronic forms