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When your health system encompasses over 400 clinics and emergency departments, plus three hospitals covering a large portion of the eastern United States, your information management system needs to be powerful and scalable, yet easily accessible and simple to use. “As we grew, we had to address new challenges, meet new government mandates, and provide faster access to information,” recalled their Senior Manager of Technology Solutions. “And we needed to cut costs at the same time.”
This tall order called for a new approach, so the healthcare provider moved from a centralized scanning operation to a distributed model, aided by ImageSoft, a reseller of technology solutions from Kodak Alaris. Essentially, capturing documents at the point of entry (as opposed to sending paper to centralized scanning locations) allowed the provider to elevate their services to staff and clients. Now documents could be put to immediate use without worrying about locating or losing paper records. Plus, patients had a greater sense of security with documents being quickly scanned and returned to them. “
“Ten years back, we were very happy with our production scanners from Kodak,” this Tech Manager noted. “They were extremely reliable and, at the time, supported our revenue cycle and medical records’ capture requirements very well.” But as mandates for Electronic Medical Records (EMR), such as the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM), came into being, new approaches were needed to progress towards achieving the ideal, mandated paperless patient record environment.
Once I heard people say, 'Boy that was easier than I expected' a few times, I knew we'd achieved a booming success. Senior Manager Technology Solutions
The health system needed to address its information capture needs at over 400 locations from community clinics to emergency departments, and throughout three large hospitals. Based on a good deal of guidance from ImageSoft, and their satisfaction with their existing scanners from Kodak, the provider invested initially in approximately 350 i2600 and i2620 Scanners from Kodak Alaris. Through centralized administration, installations and configurations were pushed out to multiple field locations. A great deal of testing took place to ensure smooth integration and operation with their frontend Epic Software (medical records) and back-end OnBase Software (content management).
“We began the rollout with specific clinical areas and, to be honest, there was a good deal of trepidation,” the Tech Manager noted. “People wanted to believe it was going to be as easy as we promised, but they were cautious.” Training modules were created on prepping paper and using the i2600 Series Scanners. Presenting this training took just 15 minutes. A scanning app was streamlined for users, requiring just six simple steps –
“After demonstrating this, people looked at us like, ‘Really, it’s THIS easy?” recalls the customer.
At this heath center, many different people–with widely varying technology fluency–have to scan documents. Yet within minutes, each person was trained well enough to teach other personnel. Eventually, rollout to one complete hospital was accomplished in a single day because of the intuitive software app and ease of getting all staff up to speed.
Now, to comply with the latest HIMSSmandated EMR stage, clinically relevant documents are available to medical personnel within 24 hours of receipt. Documents are no longer misplaced while paper and associated storage costs have been significantly reduced. “We still have paper, as mandated within clinical settings,” notes the Tech Manager. “But we’ve greatly reduced how much that paper moves about.”
This Project-lead Manager calls the deployment and integration of the i2600 Scanners “a very smoothly executed initiative.” Downtime was minimal, almost everything went according to plan, and acceptance was so immediate and enthusiastic that this ‘big change’ became a non-event.
Beyond the smooth roll out, the new system is delivering significant benefits, including –
Based on this success, the health system provider is considering purchasing up to 150 additional scanners from Kodak Alaris to extend the system to other areas of operations. “This is a great example of how thoughtful planning, dependable partners, and superb technology can come together seamlessly to minimize disruption and maximize the benefits to our healthcare network and the patients we serve,” the Tech Manager concludes.
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