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Curing Inefficiency in Digital Medical Records Workflow

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Press release from the issuing company

Healthcare providers have been excited about the potential of digital medical records (DMR) to help caregivers analyze results and plan treatments.

However, the reality of DMR hasn’t been so thrilling. One challenge has been integrating a variety of record formats into a common, accessible digital system. The handoff between the two worlds of patient care and records management often becomes the point where efficient workflow breaks down.

Increased Record Volumes Drive Need for Change

The CSSS de Kamouraska found a smart way to solve the workflow challenge and save money in the process. Based in Québec, Canada, the organization includes a hospital, a local community health centre (CLSC) and a residential and long-term care centre.

Of the organization’s 700 employees, just five provide computer services like user support, management guidance, needs analysis and records digitizing. The CSSS has digitized patient records since 2000, but this was still by hand when files included copies of lab and X-ray results. When CLSC files from were added to the workload, the volume to be digitized doubled. It was more than the small staff could handle.

“The workload would have required hiring additional staff,” said Normand Hubert, Analyst and IT coordinator for the CSSS Kamouraska. “We decided to study what could be done with technology before we went ahead with any hiring.”

Outside Recommendation Leads to Convincing Demonstration

Seeking a technology solution, the organization learned of Objectif Lune’s PlanetPress software from a firm that makes digital checks for the CSSS. The PlanetPress suite is recognized for automated workflows that help companies optimize production, distribution and archiving of transactional documents.

“I looked at PlanetPress and discovered the many opportunities it offered. After a convincing demonstration by Objectif Lune, everyone got on board to move forward, even the more skeptical members of the team,” said Normand Hubert.

A Healthy Model of Medical Record Workflow Efficiency

Today CSSS medical records management is a model of automated efficiency, with intrusive manual steps eliminated. The improved workflow starts when lab devices send results to Technidata and TD LIM software. These applications then process the data, produce reports for printing and send print files to PlanetPress.

Even when files contain hundreds of lab reports, PlanetPress automatically sorts them by patient and converts reports to PDF files. Next, PlanetPress creates an index file and organizes the documents in a directory. Using the Purkinje electronic medical record system, users can quickly retrieve the PlanetPress-generated PDF reports.

“In addition to the original solution to manage record workflow, we also use PlanetPress to merge personal and social information into a PDF form,” added Hubert. “We generate a bar code to identify the person and type of form for filing.” This improves accuracy, while eliminating manual steps.

ROI in Less Than One Year

“At $32 per hour including fringe benefits, we would have to spend $500 a week to do the same amount of work. Now we save approximately 15 hours a week in labor costs. The product paid for itself in less than a year.”

In all areas of healthcare, Information professionals must find smarter ways to organize and manage hybrid streams of paper and digital medical data. By leveraging technology like PlanetPress, the CSSS ensures information quality, accuracy, accessibility and security for its patients’ records.

To learn more, contact Bertrand Guignat.


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