Digitech Systems Reseller
Paper records delayed access to critical patient information
Converted all records to digital, improved patient care and saved money
In 2014, Kathy Lavelle, former Director of Health Records, currently the CFO, came on board at Woodstock General Hospital and quickly noticed there was a technology gap. “It was a challenge to access historical records, because they were still on paper. Clinical staff had to call Health Records, who then had to go search for the record. It was causing significant delays for clinicians who needed the information to provide the best care possible,” said Lavelle. “We were already using PaperVision Enterprise, an on-premise enterprise content management (ECM) service, for archive storage, so I was anticipating that we could leverage the existing technology in new ways.”
After expanding how PaperVision Enterprise was being used in the hospital and adding PaperFlow to handle their in-house scanning needs, they have improved access to information, reduced document retrieval times, and saved money.
- Customer service calls were reduced by 82%
- 100% of records are protected from loss, theft and natural disaster
- Health Records Department has saved over $269,000 in operating costs
Opened in 2011, the new Woodstock Hospital replaces the former hospital built in 1895. It is much more than a hospital; it is an essential resource to the quality of life for each person living in the area. The hospital has now expanded to become a 178 bed, full-service hospital that provides care to more than 55,000 people in the city of Woodstock located in Ontario, Canada and over 110,000 people located in Oxford County. The hospital takes pride in their proven commitment to the health and well-being of the patients and the community.
Managing files that were on paper was tough, and finding patient records was becoming increasingly time-consuming. “There was a lot of information still being stored on paper, so when a patient would come into the emergency room, we would have to take the time to physically find their old records,” said Lavelle. “It was very frustrating for clinical staff to have to wait for information they needed to provide care, especially in the emergency room when decisions need to be made quickly.”
Security and auditing was another driver for change at Woodstock Hospital. Records that were on paper were easy to change or for multiple people to view. “While the file was checked out, we couldn’t track whether it had been updated or changed and you had no way to know who had viewed what or when,” said Lavelle.
Lavelle knew that if they could leverage the technology they already had, they could come up with a plan that would save the hospital money and provide a quick return on investment (ROI). The goal was to have a system that would improve the quality of patient care, improve document security and save the hospital money.
Woodstock Hospital worked with Polar Imaging, a Digitech Systems reseller. The hospital wanted a system that would allow them to expand beyond simply storing old documents. The hospital now wanted to digitize their patient files and they chose to take advantage of the additional features of PaperVision Enterprise. Polar Imaging handled their scanning needs for more than 10 years, totaling more than 12 million pages. In 2015, the hospital installed PaperFlow to so they could start scanning in house.
“Thanks to PaperVision Enterprise, we have been able to increase the clinicians access to patient records. Improving access to patient records helps us ensure we’re providing the best patient care.”
– Kathy Lavelle, CFO
Today, Woodstock Hospital manages all patient files electronically. By managing files electronically, the hospital has been able to improve the quality of care they provide for their patients, while ensuring all patient information is secure.
Being able to retrieve documents instantly has improved the efficiency of the entire hospital. The health records department was receiving around 38 calls a day from clinicians requesting patient information. “Thanks to PaperVision Enterprise, the clinicians can look up the information they need themselves, and the average number of calls per day has been reduced to six,” said Lavelle. This has reduced the amount of time the health records employees spend on the phone by 82%.
Woodstock Hospital now can be sure that all patient files are secure and accurate. “We know for sure who has accessed the file and when,” said Lavelle. “We also know for sure that nothing has been changed in the file, whereas before we didn’t ever really know.” In addition, because all records have been converted to electronic format, the hospital is 100% protected from loss, theft or natural disaster.
Woodstock Hospital has been able to significantly reduce their staffing in Health Records because of scanning. “We used to have 24/7 coverage just to handle the phone calls. Now we can run the department just during daytime hours, and have eliminated the need for after-hours coverage.” said Lavelle. This has saved the health records department approximately $244,000 a year. In addition, now that the health records department has eliminated most of the paper, they are able to save over $25,000 a year in office supply costs.
Like most hospitals, improving the quality of patient care is the number one priority at Woodstock Hospital. “It is really important to us to be able to provide top notch patient care. Thanks to PaperVision Enterprise, when anyone needs to access a patient’s file they can do so immediately,” said Lavelle. “This has been especially important in our emergency room—where every second counts.
About Polar Imaging, Inc.
Polar Imaging, Inc. provides organizations with only the best document scanning services, document management solutions, equipment, and professional services in the industry. They do this to help strengthen the communities around them, as well as the economy. Their mission is to help corporations save time, money, and resources, as well as increase efficiency and productivity. In business for more than 30 years, Polar Imaging is well-known as a diversified organization delivering a broad spectrum of document management services accompanied by a passionate team dedicated to providing comprehensive document management solutions. To learn more about Polar Imaging visit their website or call 519.652.0211.