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  5. Pediatric Associates of Richmond, Inc. uses Fujitsu scanners to better manage medical practices and patient records

Pediatric Associates of Richmond, Inc.


Pediatric Associates of Richmond, Inc. uses Fujitsu scanners to better manage medical practices and patient records

Situation: The Need for Advanced Technology to Better Manage Medical Practices and Patient Records

Doctors need all the critical information they can obtain when treating a patient, but too often data is trapped in filing cabinets and disparate systems that can't be easily accessed when needed the most. Pediatric Associates of Richmond, Inc. (PAR), with thirteen doctors, four nurse practitioners, two office locations and thousands upon thousands of documents, was looking for an Electronic Health Records (EHR) management solution for their pediatric practice that would do just that – help to improve the quality of patient care and safety.

PAR was motivated to adopt a robust EHR platform not only because they believed it would decrease inefficiencies within their practice, but also because they knew this type of information technology was already gaining traction in helping to improve care and reduce costs.

"Our document management process was completely manual. Our staff had to copy handwritten patient information, and then store it in each patient's personal file, as well as manually update the information," said Matthew Andrako, in-house IT support, Pediatric Associates of Richmond, Inc. "This process was time consuming and created increased labor costs."

The goal of an EHR system is to provide doctors with all the comprehensive information for each patient at the point of care. Traditionally, PAR stored patient records in a family chart in which staff recorded information by hand. The charts were only loosely organized and there was often time lost getting the chart to the provider. PAR set out to avoid these discrepancies by digitizing all patient information to save time and money related to filing and storing paper records, allowing doctors to share and access patient charts remotely.

Solution: PAR Gets Healthy With the Right Team

PAR started its information technology search when its practice management system became obsolete. What started as a practice management upgrade turned into a full EHR implementation. PAR hired a consultant to define the needs for the project and determine the requirements to take PAR from a manual filing system to a sophisticated and capable EHR management program. The selection criteria in choosing the appropriate vendors were cost and workflow capability. Based on these requirements, PAR selected Pulse Systems, Inc. Patient Relationship Management, a comprehensive and powerfully integrated software solution for tracking and managing the processes involved in providing patient clinical services and keeping accurate EHR and efficient billing and collections. PAR went live with the practice management system (PulsePro), enhancing the clerical and billing office administration and providing the new scheduling and billing module. PAR then implemented the Pulse EHR system (Clinical Dashboard), integrating patient flow, workflow and cash flow in a single solution, providing PAR with unprecedented productivity and organizational results.

Providing paper-based chart information to clinical users in an electronic format is crucial so as part of the implementation process, Pulse, also a reseller for Fujitsu Computer Products of America, Inc., introduced document-imaging scanners, the Fujitsu fi-5120C and fi-5650C color duplex scanners, to help convert the existing paper-based file system into the new EHR system. The implementation of these scanners helped to better manage documents and save on operation costs by scanning paper-based files into electronic format for easy accessibility and electronic filing. The Fujitsu fi-5120C and fi-5650C scanners offered PAR the perfect balance of speed and versatility, scanning in color, grayscale or monochrome at fast duplex speeds.

"Once we learned about the Fujitsu fi-5120C and fi-5650C scanner benefits and viewed the demonstrations, we knew it was the right option," said Andrako. "Their small footprint, fast scanning speeds and ability to handle a variety of paper types was what sealed the deal for us. Additionally, installation was painless and, thus far, management of the scanners has not been an issue. We have installed ten fi-5120Cs and two fi-5650Cs, even hosting scanning parties with our team to get over 24,000 patient records online. We had college kids home for the summer scanning our chart room and turning our manual system into a digital workflow."

PAR also wanted a device that would allow them to access patient information and that provided the option of typing notes or using a stylus with digitized forms. The Fujitsu LifeBook(R) T4215 Series tablet PC fit the bill perfectly, putting patient information at the staff's fingertips. This technology, along with the flexible Pulse User and Patient Dashboard's software design, allows PAR doctors and nurse practitioners to use the Fujitsu tablet PC as a conventional notebook with a keyboard and display. Alternatively, they can easily convert the notebook into a slate by swiveling the display 180 degrees and laying it flat on the keyboard. Using a stylus, they can check off digital forms, take notes in their own handwriting or convert their handwriting into typed text. Today, PAR has 38 Fujitsu LifeBook T4215 Series tablet PCs complementing its EHR deployment.

Benefits: Pediatrics Associates of Richmond Saves Time and Increases Productivity

Since the completion of PAR's EHR solution installment, PAR employees have accelerated their workflow and have added peace of mind knowing that scanned documents are in a secure location. PAR is confident they comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which requires healthcare providers to protect patients' health information and physical records. PAR achieved this transition within a 12-month period of time, an accomplishment less than 5 percent of EHR installations achieve.

"After years of manually processing information, we knew there had to be a better way to process critical patient information that would allow us to instantly capture any document in its original form," said Andrako. "With the Pulse software and Fujitsu scanners and tablet PCs, PAR has experienced a dramatic increase in employee productivity with the reduced time it now takes to manage healthcare documentation."

"Our practice recently realized a dream by migrating to a fully electronic platform with tablet computers that run an electronic health record system," said Andrako. "In the process of moving from a paper-based office to a paperless one, we have become more conscious of the workflows involved in such a transition. Much more goes into this process than initially meets the eye, PAR made the conscious decision to work with experienced partners, exceptional technology and an internal staff that was dedicated to training."

Pediatric Associates of Richmond benefit snapshot

  • Improved billing efficiency
  • Improved AR
  • Improved patient care
  • File retrieval time-savings
  • On-call doctors are able to access information remotely to respond to phone queries
  • Ease of use
  • Highly reliable and secure data access
  • Adherence to government regulations (HIPPA)

Industries:

  • Healthcare

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions

Regions:

  • United States

Challenges:

  • Deliver better patient care by creating a document management system for thousands of medical records
  • Streamline a time-consuming, costly, and labor-intensive information updating process
  • Enable doctors to access and share patient charts remotely

Benefits:

  • Reduced operation costs by scanning paper-based files into electronic format for easy electronic access and filing
  • Increased employee productivity by reducing time required to manage healthcare documentation and accelerating manual workflows
  • Combined with tablet PCs, doctors can now remotely access patient documents and now have the option of typing or using the stylus to add notes