One of India's leading multispeciality healthcare groups serves thousands of patients through its network of hospitals every day. The group offers an integrated range of services from outpatient treatment and diagnostics, to advanced clinical care and personalised homecare services, and continues to pioneer the adoption of digital technologies to drive innovation.
Digitising paper-based medical files and creating Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to make patients' information widely available at the point of care, is a key part of the organisation's digital hospital roadmap.
The healthcare group was running a fleet of entry-level scanners which for a number of reasons were no longer fit for purpose. In particular, slow scanning speeds and a lack of intelligent document handling features, meant that the workflow was highly dependent on manual intervention.
Documents such as patient histories, clinical notes, lab results, medication, operations and discharge summaries, were created in different sizes and varied in terms of paper weight and thickness. Each page had to be manually sorted and individually fed into the scanner to be captured, which was a slow, time-consuming process. Moreover, each patient has a unique ID which is contained within a barcode on the file cover. Before digitising the patient's record, staff had to first use a separate handheld device to read the barcode, which was inefficient and negatively impacted the time it took to create an EHR.
The group was not meeting its targets in terms of back-scanning legacy files and the backlog was increasing by the day. This made the case for a technology refresh more pressing, and it turned to Kodak Alaris partner Nisarga IT Solutions for advice and support.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has set standards for the capture, storage, retrieval, exchange and analysis of clinical information. These include a requirement for medical records to be issued in digital format within 72 hours. With more and more information created every day and an increasing backlog of records to be digitized, meeting this standard was proving to be a challenge with the legacy scanners.
The healthcare group's requirements extended beyond simply needing scanners with faster speeds, its key objective was to boost efficiency by automating the full end-to-end workflow.
Nisarga IT Solutions recommended Kodak S2050 Scanner the initially installing 30 devices across four locations. The Kodak S2050 Scanner captures 50 pages per minute, delivers crisp, high quality images without requiring a PC, and has a host of features that help reduce manual pre- and post-scan tasks including Intelligent Barcode Reading, Intelligent Document Protection and multi-feed sensor technology to help prevent paper jams and damage to documents.
For the hospital group, the ability to remove unnecessary manual steps when preparing documents was critical. With the scanners from Kodak Alaris, the previously manual-intensive workflow is now fully automated.
Built-in Intelligent Barcode Reading which produces the most accurate data extraction results and takes complexity out of document preparation, means operators no longer have to manually split files and use a handheld device to extract the barcode value. Now files are auto-classified with the barcode, which means scanning operators are able to feed multiple records into the scanner at the same time, significantly reducing processing time.
Active Feed Technology has made preparation of scans simpler, removing the requirement to perfectly stack documents in the feeder. Active Feed Technology jogs the pages to align them for error-free scanning, avoiding misfeeds and multi-feeds, while Controlled Output Stacking which places paper neatly in the output tray, has also positively boosted productivity and efficiency.
Document protection was a key concern for the hospital group and having the ability to prevent misfeeds which result in damaged documents, was something they particularly wanted to address. The scanners from Kodak Alaris met this requirement thanks to advanced paper handling technology such as Intelligent Document Protection, which uses ultrasonic sensors to 'listen' for problems and immediately stops the scanning process before jams or misfeeds occur.
The return on investment is particularly strong. On a typical day, using the legacy scanners, operators would process between ten to fifteen medical records per device. Using the scanners from Kodak Alaris, this has now increased more than three-fold, with an average of 50 files being processed per scanner, per day. There is a plan in place that will see Nisarga IT Solutions provide an additional 25 units by the end of the current financial year, which will further boost productivity.
The leading healthcare provider has also been able to redeploy staff for increased efficiency. Previously, each scanner required two operators to complete all of the manual pre-scan steps as well as the actual scanning – now, just one person can complete the full end to-end process, which has freed up valuable resource to be deployed elsewhere.
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