InoTec Document Scanners Help to Improve Administrative Efficiency, Patient Treatment through Digitization
In 2008, St. Mary’s Hospital of Gelsenkirchen joined with St. Mary’s of Buer to become part St. Augustine Gelsenkirchen GmbH. With the merging came an opportunity to streamline and improve records management. As of 2011, the hospitals had ten InoTec 4 x 2-series SCAMAX® scanners in place with plans to implement future units. St. Mary’s administrators noted improvement in both medical and administrative records management, resulting in a higher level of office efficiency tying directly to patient care.
Too Much Paper, Too Little Access
“Both hospitals had extensive archives – paper-based and microfilmed health records,” explains Carsten Hessling, head of IT with St. Augustine Gelsenkirchen GmbH. “The volume was close to our physical capacity and slowing the central work processes.”
As in any healthcare setting, it was essential that health and administrative records be original and accurate to assist in rendering medical services and billing while protecting from potential litigation. Hessling estimated that the two hospitals serve 35,000 stationary and out-patients and that each hospital bed produces paper records the equivalent of 39 inches (one meter) deep. With 700 beds and a requirement that the most recent three years of records per patient be quickly accessible, the challenge and pressures of records accuracy, management, storage and access were obvious. The previously performed microfilming of medical records was workand cost-intensive, leading to the search for a better solution.
Finding The Right Scanner
After careful research, hospital officials selected the InoTec SCAMAX® 4 x 2-series document scanners. The InoTec systems provided high image quality, a greater scan width than other document scanners on the market (12.5 inches) and a feeder system for multiple document varieties. Additionally, the InoTec custom LED lighting system offered improved image illumination and lowered power consumption by approximately 75 percent.
Hessling also identified the excellent price-to-performance ratio, as well as the ease of use of as important criteria. “Our scanning is done in-house,” explained Hessling, “so the intuitive operation and uncomplicated maintenance of the InoTec units were strong differentiators.” The optimized work processes and reduced archive costs were quickly felt.
Digitization Provides Instant Access, Legally Secure Archives
The volume of documents scanned – including medical records, X-rays, incoming mail and other files – can be over 400,000 images per month. After scanning, a custom software solution assigns a batch code and the files are stored in a common digital data archive. The signature of each document is performed by means of a personal signature card by the respective editor, critical in the event of legal disputes.
As the files are digitized, special barcodes are used to improve the digital file organization enabling medical or office personnel to quickly search for specific letters, OP reports and more. The hospital system and InoTec worked together on an integration of the digital document archive with the electronic hospital information system to provide access to all medically relevant information to doctors using tablet PCs at a patient bedside.
An electronic lending system for digitized medical records was also implemented. Says Hessling, “In the hectic day-to-day activity of medical practice, it’s common for patient paper files from one doctor to take up to two weeks to reach the requesting doctor. The lending system makes this transfer of information much more efficient and leads to faster turnaround in patient care.”
St. Augustine Gelsenkirchen GmbH
St. Mary’s Gelsenkirchen is an academic teaching hospital of the University of Duisburg-Essen and is a modern acute and emergency hospital with eleven medical departments. With more than 2000 employees throughout several locations, St. Augustine Gelsenkirchen GmbH is one of the city’s largest employers. http://www.St-Augustinus.EU/
The InoTec GmbH scan systems optimize the business processes of its customers with technically accurate and reliable document scanners and are used wherever large quantities of documents must be scanned safely and productively. http://www.inotec.EU
Solutions Around The World
InoTec SCAMAX® document scanners have been placed in a wide variety of vertical markets throughout the world. Recently, five units have been utilized by Crowley Imaging at the Library of Congress to scan more than 100,000 images per day. For more information on how SCAMAX® is being used in a specific vertical or geographic market, please contact us.