Many of today's community hospitals view paper as a necessary evil. Often, the perception of a large financial investment and technical complexity causes smaller organizations to shy away from an electronic patient folder endeavor.
But Anderson Hospital, a 139-bed community hospital located in Maryville, Ill., with a primary service area population of 100,000, proves to be an exception. The hospital began its initiative with an enterprise-wide investment in a health information system (HIS). A solid foundation in place, Anderson soon looked to extend the HIS capabilities with a cost-effective document imaging solution that would integrate with an existing system while maintaining the individual integrity of the application.
In ImageNow®, Anderson found a document imaging solution that integrates directly with the hospital's system to capture discharge summaries electronically, index them by patient and store them within a central, secure repository. Medical Records was the first Anderson department to implement ImageNow.
"ImageNow allows us to archive the discharge summary electronically then reproduce it at any point in the future," said Scott Ellner, clinical analyst at Anderson Hospital. "Now we don't have to store it in a paper format, and we can print on demand when a copy is needed."
Not only was convenience a huge driver for Anderson's document imaging initiative, storage space was a looming cost, which hospital administration wanted to avoid.
"Prior to ImageNow, we faced the inevitability of constructing a new building to house paper documents," said Ellner. "The State of Illinois does not recognize an electronic record as a legal record, so we still had to produce and store a paper record. Recently, many healthcare facilities in Illinois have said as long as the organization can produce a paper version (from an electronically stored record), they are covered in case of a legal event in the future."
ImageNow has helped Anderson become part of this consortium on the leading edge of healthcare technology, and at the same time, eliminated the facility's dependence on physical storage. "We certainly don't anticipate the need for another storage building (with ImageNow), and that's a nice cost-saver," said Ellner.
From Medical Records, Anderson leveraged the ImageNow system into the Admissions area. When a patient arrives, all paperwork — insurance card, consent forms, face sheets and HIPAA documentation — is scanned into ImageNow at the point of service and linked by the admissions clerk to the patient's electronic medical record. This opens the lines of communication and generates greater efficiency hospitalwide.
"Once patient information is scanned and linked in ImageNow, our billing office, coders and other authorized personnel have immediate, electronic access to that information instead of having to await the arrival of paper documents," said Ellner.
With a single click, ImageNow allows staff to view patient information in conjunction with any application screen, facilitating a more accurate, streamlined billing process.
About Perceptive Software
Perceptive Software, Inc., offers document imaging, management and workflow software solutions that simplify document management processes by delivering secure, digitized versions of paper and other electronic documents while leveraging existing business applications. Companies in a broad range of industries worldwide have taken advantage of ImageNow, Perceptive Software's flagship software offering.