DuPage wanted to streamline paper-based processes associated with transferring records between the many clinical sites. DuPage worked with KnowledgeLake and PointBridge to leverage Microsoft Office SharePoint Server as their Enterprise Content Management solution. As a result, the patient experience has improved as any physician or clinician within the DuPage network can now easily review the entire patient record at the point of encounter. This has led to a more complete view of the patient, less time spent re-discovering information and ultimately, capacity improvements to treat more patients.
DuPage Medical Group sought to store all documents supporting a patient’s record electronically so that any clinician in the network could have the most complete information on a patient. The challenge was building a solution that would scale to meet the estimated 5,000,000 pages of documentation created each year.
DuPage was challenged with a way to capture and store patient information that was originated in a paper form. These items range from hand written notes to treatment releases which were generated at an encounter within the DuPage network or from a referring physician outside of the network. The amount of paper records and requirements of transferring these records between the many DuPage clinical sites resulted in significant storage and courier costs.
DuPage considered several technology firms who had developed software solutions for this specific need. While the recommended products met DuPage’s requirements they were all stand alone products that only gave DuPage the added content management capabilities needed for the immediate requirements. DuPage expanded the search to include Microsoft SharePoint with the hope of addressing multiple business challenges. Using Microsoft SharePoint to solve this business challenge offered the additional benefit of providing DuPage with a platform on which other applications could be built as business needs arose.
DuPage worked with KnowledgeLake and PointBridge to leverage Microsoft Office SharePoint Server as their Enterprise Content Management solution, providing a seamless experience for the clinicians. PointBridge architected the SharePoint based solution for content management while KnowledgeLake provided the front-end solution for the business users. KnowledgeLake Capture and the extensibility offered in the Capture SDK allowed DuPage to scan the documents directly into SharePoint while tagging the content with patient metadata pulled from the Epic Healthcare system. This allows DuPage to scan documents from a Central office in a batch process. DuPage is using Fujitsu fi-5900C scanners to scan approximately 20,000 pages per week. In addition, the KnowledgeLake Viewer allows the clinicians and physicians to view the content through the Epic interface which reduces end user training requirements.
By implementing KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint and KnowledgeLake Capture coupled with Epic and Microsoft SharePoint, DuPage has implemented a complete document management solution allowing DuPage to resolve the business challenges they previously faced leading to both qualitative and quantitative improvements.
The patient experience has improved as any physician or clinician within the DuPage network can now easily review the entire patient record at the point of encounter. Today, the entire patient record is simultaneously accessible to every clinician in the DuPage network. This has led to a more complete view of the patient; less time spent re-discovering information and ultimately, capacity improvements to treat more patients.
DuPage is also experiencing a reduction in costs by retaining all patient records centrally. Previously, DuPage had inflated records management costs resulting from storage, retrieval and transportation of the patient records. By centralizing all the records management functions, DuPage is able to reduce administrative costs while increasing access to patient information.
Clinical workflow and productivity
By retaining all of the patient’s records electronically, physicians within the DuPage network are more efficient with their patients and their own time. The clinicians and physicians are not forced to have medical releases executed multiple times, wait for paper based records to be couriered from the referring physician or ask redundant questions of the patient. Rather, the physicians are able to concentrate their time interacting directly with patients; either clarifying symptoms or confirming information captured in previous visits.
Patients are now able to freely travel between DuPage offices without the need to engage in redundant analysis. Clinicians and physicians are able to diagnose the symptoms more efficiently which has led to higher patient satisfaction. This will drive up patient referrals within the DuPage network, which in turn, drives profitability for DuPage.
As Dupage has transitioned off of paper records, they have been able to reduce the amount of staff dedicated to medical records. In addition, DuPage is able to drastically reduce the amount of physical storage required to save paper files across their organization. DuPage was also able to reduce services fees associated with transporting patient records within the network. When a patient required their records to be transferred from their primary care physician to a specialist, DuPage incurred the expense of securely transferring the paper files between the clinics. By moving to an electronic format, all physicians within the network are able to view the patient files through Epic, thus eliminating the need to courier patient records.
In addition, DuPage has realized lower operational costs by deploying a system based on widely adopted Microsoft products. DuPage staff has been able to respond to requested changes to the system by business users without engaging an outside vendor. This allows the DuPage IT leadership to be responsive to the businesses needs while avoiding the out of pocket expense that a proprietary system would require to modify.
“Previously, we had inflated records management costs by having large patient files in each of the treating offices. By centralizing all of the records management functions, we have been able to reduce administrative costs while increasing access to patient information.” Jeff Crowell, Applications Architect