Many healthcare organizations today face a challenging to-do list as they continue to implement the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. This model measures healthcare organizations on their progress toward achieving the ideal paperless patient record environment using professional document management solutions.
As background, compliance now requires the use and storage of “meaningful” electronic records, but many physicians continue to use traditional methods, such as making notes on patients’ charts or manually entering handwritten notes. Yet these approaches are inconsistent at best and tend to lead to wasted time and too many errors.
These examples also point to a larger trend: While many hospitals, clinics and other healthcare organizations continue to talk about going paperless, in reality, most still use a high volume of paper each and every day. We recently wrote an article on this topic where we specifically highlighted the challenges related to this reliance on paper. For example, these large volumes of paper are expensive (in terms of actual printing costs as well as maintaining overall document management processes), hard to track and difficult to secure.
Break the reliance on paper
All of this leads to the question: How can healthcare organizations reduce their reliance on paper and make progress toward the EMR Adoption Model?
One way is through the use of document capture and workflow management solutions that enable fast, easy conversion of patient information from paper-based records to digital format for use in an EHR at the point of care.
Union Hospital was able to achieve these benefits with Nuance Output Manager and AutoStore solutions. This Maryland-based hospital was looking for a better way to manage and distribute electronic and paper documents. It was also able to use these solutions to improve the security of patient records to comply with HIPAA regulations and protect any other confidential information.
By combining these solutions, Union Hospital was able to streamline critical workflows and gain a more secure printing solution. Now, instead of having printouts go directly to a printer – where they could be left unattended if a user forgets to pick them up – they are printed to a queue. Through the use of Follow Me Printing printing solutions, employees use a badge to authenticate themselves and release their print job at any connected printer. This alone significantly improves document security and prevents confidential patient data from being seen by unauthorized individuals.
Increased HIMSS adoption
Like most other healthcare organizations, Union Hospital wants to move further in the HIMSS stages of paperless patient records. Thanks in part to these document management solutions, Union Hospital was able to achieve HIMSS Stage 6 and is targeting the end of 2017 to hit HIMSS Stage 7, which is the highest level of meaningful EMR adoption.
To learn more about Union Hospital’s implementation of Nuance solutions – and how it helped it improve its effort to go paperless – please download the full success story now.