Kodak has announced that Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust's Emergency Department has installed a File Stream electronic document management solution (EDMS), with Kodak i1320 scanner and tethered A3 flatbed accessory, to manage the emergency records of 70,000 patients seen every year. The hardware and software was supplied by Staffordshire-based, Ascot Business Solutions, in a deal worth around 15,000.
Serving a rural and urban population of around 225,000 people, Barnsley Hospital's Emergency Department has a clinical staff of seven consultants, 18 doctors and around 50 nurses who provide emergency medical care 24/7, seeing on average 200 people per day.
A huge volume of paper is generated as a result which was causing the department issues in terms of storage, management, and then subsequent access to information. Records were kept in department for 6 months, then moved to a basement area for a year and ultimately transferred to a remote and inaccessible area of the hospital nicknamed 'The Bunker' for long-term 5 year storage.
Dr Dyfrig Hughes, project leader, explains, "The longer records are in storage, the harder they are to find as each movement increases the chances of files getting mislaid. Something only needs to be slightly misfiled for it to become a really time consuming effort to later source. Secretaries were traipsing to-and-fro to get emergency cards which clearly isn't productive or efficient."
Each time a person visits, an emergency department record is produced a document containing 5 or 6 sheets of A4 which lists the patient's name and address, demographic information, a summary of the treatment provided, along with a letter to the GP which summarises the problem and care given. With the high volume of people treated annually, the department was sinking under paper, while also consuming a lot of precious space which could be better utilised for clinical care.
Dr Hughes adds, "Accessing records is important especially when treating children's illness as the past medical history is important, and we often need records for legal purposes when we have to support the Police with their inquires. With the old paper-based system, we just weren't able to access information quickly or easily."
The emergency department first considered scanning emergency records some years ago, but it was a small flood in 2008 in the storage area which tipped the balance and the Trust recognised it needed to implement an alternative computer-based solution.
Reseller, Ascot Business Solutions, supplied File Stream's EDMS solution and a Kodak i1320 departmental scanner, with tethered A3 flatbed accessory, for use in the reception area. Mark Ingram, Ascot's managing director, says, "Barnsley Hospital took a package from us. A Kodak scanner solution was recommended because of the reputation for reliability, and ability to integrate and working faultlessly with File Stream."
Compact but high performance and ergonomically designed, the duplex Kodak i1320 scanner can process 40 pages a minute in colour both sides and documents up to 34 inches long, making it an excellent desktop workhorse for the department.
Featuring 600 dpi optical resolution, the i1320 scanner comes with Kodak's Perfect Page imaging technology which ensures that the best possible scanned images are produced first time, every time irrespective of paper type which is ideal for a hospital environment.
Gary Jones, File Stream's UK marketing manager, said, "It's a busy little scanner. When you arrive in the emergency department, the receptionist extracts information from the PAS (Patient Administration System) about who you are, prints a top sheet, adds blank pages for medical staff to then fill in and puts the whole lot in a folder. This then follows the patient around, making a loop around the department, with the whole file then scanned in at the end, and the paper destroyed."
The File Stream EDMS has also improved the integrity and security of the emergency record. Urine tests, blood results and heart tracings are all produced using different pieces of coloured paper which the Kodak scanner easily copes with. Everything is now scanned and incorporated in the electronic file thus avoiding any possibility that paper could go astray.
Accessible to authorised medical staff, searching for information is now a breeze and can be done on date of birth, date of attendance, GP, gender, emergency department number and so on. The new system allows doctors to email documents to each other if required and offers instant access to information on patients. Dr Hughes explains, "If I am on a ward, I can call up the notes on a patient who came in the previous day without the need to find the physical records or ring down to secretaries to ask them to find or copy them."
In addition, a lot of time and effort managing emergency cards is saved, with the storage space in the department freed to make room for an expanded children's area.
Neil Murphy, Kodak's UK sales manager for document imaging, says, "For a relatively modest investment, Barnsley Hospital has installed a simple-to-use yet robust departmental solution which does away with paper and means staff can focus on helping critically ill patients get better rather than wasting time managing an unmanageable paper process."