A geographically dispersed healthcare network generates a lot of information. To give its employees easier, faster access to documents, McFarland Clinic PC replaced its proprietary document management system with products from KnowledgeLake that run on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. The solution gives the Iowa-based healthcare network an integrated IT system that provides employees with faster access to critical files.
McFarland Clinic PC is a physician-owned company that operates medical clinics in 11 Iowa cities and provides services in another 12 communities through physician outreach clinics. The McFarland healthcare network has 166 doctors and other medical personnel working in specialties such as cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, pulmonary medicine, and surgery. McFarland also offers services such as hearing aid evaluations, optometry, and laboratory work.
McFarland operations generate an enormous amount of documentation that include medical records, accounting, financial files, and human resources information related to its staff, which includes more than 1,000 employees who support the medical personnel. For years, McFarland had been using an open-source application called VIP DocManager to handle its documents. Although it was good for document management tasks, VIP DocManager did not integrate well with other IT system components used by McFarland. The company’s management wanted to find a technology that could integrate documents into the company’s intranet, which runs on Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007.
“VIP DocManager operates on a proprietary system that requires a proprietary viewer and search tool to retrieve documents,” says David Meier, Technical Manager for McFarland. “This slowed the process of accessing documents. Moreover, we use SharePoint Server 2007 as a key communications tool, and wanted to find a solution that could leverage SharePoint Server for more control and faster access to documents on our intranet.”
McFarland Clinic decided to deploy products from KnowledgeLake, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner that provides document management solutions that integrate with SharePoint Server 2007. KnowledgeLake products provided the ideal combination of traits that McFarland needed to fold its document management processes into the corporate intranet.
“We looked at three other vendors who incorporate SharePoint Server as a storage solution, but KnowledgeLake provides the best combination of technology and cost effectiveness,” says Meier.
McFarland deployed KnowledgeLake Capture to scan and capture documents and store them as Adobe portable document format (PDF) files. The documents are scanned using Fujitsu 5650c and 5530C2 scanners. The company also uses KnowledgeLake Imaging for SharePoint, which enables document management functionality such as indexing, searches, and annotations. Additionally, McFarland uses KnowledgeLake Capture Server for batch management of documents.
It took McFarland about two weeks to deploy the KnowledgeLake solution. The deployment went smoothly. The learning curve for the scanning process was minimal, and if users know how to use SharePoint, they are simply shown how to perform queries to retrieve specific documents.
Up to 200,000 documents are scanned every month. Documents available on the intranet include explanation of benefits, invoices, patient charge receipts, and human resource documents. McFarland is also using the technology to create a connection to its Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. KnowledgeLake Capture will be used to put scanned comprehensive medical records on the SharePoint-based portal. This will allow employees to access full medical records when abstracts are not available.
Migration from VIP DocManager
McFarland used KnowledgeLake’s Content Migrator to migrate the documents and associated metadata from a GAUSS VIP DocManager system to SharePoint. KnowledgeLake worked with McFarland to perform a phased migration of approximately 4,000,000 documents.
Deploying an intranet solution based on KnowledgeLake products and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 gave McFarland greater control over critical business documentation. In the process, the company consolidated key IT technologies into one comprehensive system, creating greater business efficiencies. The solution is also easy to use for employees who need fast access to vital patient, financial, and human resources documents.
Greater Control over Documents
The KnowledgeLake products and SharePoint Server 2007 have given McFarland more control over important documents. Employees no longer have to use proprietary software to access documents, and the company can use features such as permissions based on a user’s job to access to specific medical, financial, and personnel documents faster and more securely than in the past. The result is far greater control over storing and accessing data.
“With a document management solution based on KnowledgeLake products and SharePoint Server 2007, we own the data, we determine how the data will be stored and who can access which documents, and we can access the data without using proprietary software,” says Meier.
Integrated IT Systems
Deploying the new document management system allows McFarland to streamline IT operations by merging its document management processes with its intranet.
“The KnowledgeLake products enabled us to integrate our document management functions into our existing enterprise-wide Microsoft SharePoint Server environment,” says Meier. “Using Knowledge technology with SharePoint Server delivers greater efficiency for company processes. We can leverage a single IT system for document management, for communications between clinics, and for a Web-based intranet that can be used for many different purposes.”
Ease of Use
“The KnowledgeLake solution makes it easy to get users up and running quickly on their document searches; It is quite intuitive. The search tools simply blend into the SharePoint-based interface,” Meier says. “Our users wanted a ‘one-stop shop’ for all information so they could do their jobs more effectively. The KnowledgeLake products combined with SharePoint Server 2007 allowed us to deliver that kind of integrated platform.”