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Spring 2010

Shareable Ink® – Pilot Project

Kathy Payne, CPC
Vice President of Operations, ABC

In the Fall 2009 Communiqué, Dr. Vernon Huang, Founder and CMO of Shareable Ink®, first introduced readers to the Shareable Ink® digital anesthesia record. The Shareable Ink® product currently marketed as F1RST Anesthesia Record (FAR), in partnership with ABC, offers a method of capturing anesthesia events and transmitting the data directly to ABC for processing. For most anesthesia groups, current workflow involves filling out a paper anesthesia record. Shareable Ink® provides an electronic method of capturing anesthesia events as they are recorded on the anesthesia record – without requiring any significant change in process. At the end of the day, simply connect the Shareable Ink® pen to a conveniently located docking cradle and upload your completed anesthesia records. Over a secure web site the anesthesia record information is delivered to the billing office for processing. Gone is the hassle of keeping track of paper anesthesia records and transporting them to the billing office, thus speeding up the billing process and reducing charge lag time.

Shortly after the release of the Fall 2009 Communiqué, ABC’s Western Regional office was asked to participate in a pilot project for Shareable Ink® in collaboration with Anesthesia Care Associates, a practice located in the San Francisco bay area. Three plus months into the pilot, here is what we’ve learned from the perspective of some key stakeholders:

Joe Fenerty, M.D., President Of Anesthesia Carare Associates And New User Of Sharareable Ink®

“Unlike other technology changes, using the Shareable Ink® system required minimal effort from group members. We’ve found with the built-in edit checks there is a reduction in charges returned for missing information. The speed in which the data is available for billing results in a positive impact on the revenue cycle.

“On the con side some members found the digital pen to be less ergonomically friendly and opted to not take advantage of the product and reverted back to using a standard pen.”

Matthew Barnhart, VP, Product Development, Shareable Ink®

“Implementation couldn’t have been better. From acceptance by the individual anesthesia providers to the OR unit clerks, by and large the experience was very easy. Ease of implementation is attributed to how closely the digitized anesthesia record workflow mirrors current day reality. Virtually, it’s a ’no big deal’ event. In fact, we’ve seen such a success with the pilot that we are installing and plan to go live at a sister campus in the next few weeks.

“The next leap with the Pilot is interfacing the Shareable Ink® system with F1RST Anesthesia, bringing billing data directly into the billing software and thereby eliminating human intervention. In the absence of the interface records are printed from the Shareable Ink® website for processing by the billing office.

“On the horizon Shareable Ink® is building in functionality to support care team models and expanding the single point of service view to one of gluing multiple independent episodes together.”

Kararen Gehne, Manager, Abc-Western Region

“The Shareable Ink® website is easy to access and use. New users can acquaint themselves and navigate the website in five to seven minutes. Daily we access the Shareable Inkreg; website and retrieve the anesthesia records for billing. One main advantage of this product from a billing and collections perspective is the clarity of the anesthesia record. Frequently what is submitted for billing is a second, third or fourth generation copy of the anesthesia record, resulting in problems with legibility of information recorded on the record. The writing on the Shareable Ink® anesthesia record is a bold, clear original that can be reprinted over and over with equal clarity.

“Another benefit is the completeness of the records; helping to speed up the billing process and reduce the number of instances a critical data element is missing. This eliminates delays in the billing process due to pending input from the provider.”

FAR is a viable and attractive alternative for practices looking for an automated anesthesia record. A minimal investment in hardware (color laser printer and a few docking cradles), together with a quick training session with users, paves the way for virtually any practice to implement and begin seeing the advantages the system offers. If you are looking to reduce administrative paperwork, eliminate pended claims while decreasing charge lag days, I would encourage you to explore FAR. While FAR is not an EMR it does provide an automated way to capture and transport anesthesia records. To learn more about F1RSTAnesthesia Record call (800) 242-1131 ext 4113 or visit our website at

Kathy Payne, CPC, joined ABC in 2008 through the acquisition of Anesthesiologists Associated Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in the health care billing industry focused exclusively in anesthesia. Prior to her work with ABC, she was the Vice President of Billing and Collections for Anesthesiologists Associated Inc. responsible for leading and directing 100+ staff members, with multiple office sites across several western states. Ms. Payne has overseen growth and improvements in billing and collection processes and her leadership provides stability and ensures consistent and reliable service to clients. Prior to her time with Anesthesiologists Associated Inc., she spent seven years in billing at Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, Washington. She studied at Spokane Community Collegeand is accredited by the American Academy of Professional Coders as a Certified Professional Coder. Ms. Payne is a long-time member of the MGMA Anesthesia Administration Assembly.