Despite astonishing advances in treating disease and saving lives, healthcare is still struggling with records. Hospitals are awash in paper, a condition that keeps costs high, potentially serious errors occurring, and virtually everyone frustrated at the sluggish flow of medical information.
To directly address these problems, Ricoh Americas Corporation today detailed a suite of Healthcare Information Services that transform paper medical documents into electronic information, substantially improving the input, processing and output of patient medical data. The ultimate goal is improving healthcare and lowering costs through better information management. Ricoh provided details and demonstrations this week at the HIMSS 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition March 3-7 in New Orleans in booth #1361.
Ricoh Healthcare Information Services are based on three powerful new technologies:
— The Ricoh Health Information Management (HIM) Workflow Solution
— The Ricoh Pharmacy Order Manager Solution
— The Ricoh Forms Management Solution for Healthcare
All three exemplify Ricoh’s Business Information Solutions approach, which tailors custom solutions to clients’ most urgent business challenges. These solutions can also help acute care institutions achieve Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHR) technology, a criterion for EHR incentive programs for improving care.
“These solutions are directly aimed at three of the most important goals in healthcare: improving quality of care, reducing costs and ferreting out errors,” said Michael Campana, Senior Manager, Healthcare Marketing, Ricoh Americas Corporation. “The common denominator is capturing critical medical information and making it available to the right professional at the instant they need it.”
Health Information Management Workflow
As regulatory and business demands increase, so does paperwork volume. It’s doubling every 3.3 years in the average business. Paper records make document tracking difficult, retrieval labor-intensive, and business processes nearly impossible to standardize.
The Ricoh HIM Workflow Manager Solution – featuring DocuWare(®) Electronic Content Management (ECM) software – enables medical charts and other medical documents to be easily scanned, indexed, synchronized with patient metadata and stored electronically. As a result, caregivers and authorized users can access a wide range of information in real time at the point of care, or behind the scenes, in a single search for a patient’s electronic file.
The solution integrates seamlessly with Ricoh multifunction products (MFPs), which can serve as scanning portals to capture paper-based data. Users can capture information this way in admissions, registration and throughout the medical records process, helping automate deficiency management, unsigned orders management, legal medical record (LMR) consolidation, release of information (ROI), continuity of care and more. The solution is ideal for hospitals that lack EHR systems and hope to obtain federal incentives when they obtain those systems. Nearly three-quarters of hospitals lack EHR systems, and nearly 90 percent are failing to achieve Meaningful Use across all clinical units.
Pharmacy Order Management
Medication mistakes represent the largest cause of medical errors in U.S. hospitals, harming 1.5 million patients annually and costing an estimated $3.5 billion a year. Contributing to the problem is the typical chaotic hospital pharmacy environment, with overwhelmed pharmacists fielding prescriptions via fax, pressurized tubes or courier deliveries, on a first-come-first-served basis with little or no tracking.
The Ricoh Pharmacy Order Manager Solution combines Ricoh MFPs and DocuWare DocuScripts software to automate submission and tracking of medication orders. Users can dispense medicine faster, help drive down healthcare costs and ultimately enhance patient care.
The solution provides doctors, nurses and pharmacists with electronic ordering, verification, prioritization and other capabilities that significantly reduce the time from order placement to patient delivery. Users can set priorities, track progress and communicate through the dashboard with ease. Hospital administrators can also monitor activity trends to optimize staffing levels.
Handwritten orders can be scanned, or prescriptions can be entered directly into the hospital’s Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) station. Each order includes the priority status of the prescription. Pharmacists can review the orders via the DocuScripts interface and dispense medication based on priority. The system alerts pharmacists if high-priority prescriptions are late.
Forms Management Solution for Healthcare
Hospitals are continuously forced to document more information in response to legal, regulatory and operational needs. Yet most of the information acute care facilities need is trapped in paper or paper equivalents such as word-processing, PDF files or printed forms. In general, 80 percent of information captured is in unstructured, paper-based forms/input. The resulting bottlenecks can jeopardize revenue, customer service, cost-effectiveness, cash flow and regulatory compliance.
To address these challenges, Ricoh today unveiled the Ricoh Forms Management Solution for Healthcare powered by Access(®) EFM. The solution quickly captures, verifies and moves data to where it’s needed most – the critical business systems hospitals rely on for their core operations. Authorized users can easily create and publish data-capture screens that look like paper-based forms. Designers can easily add formulas, field verification and electronic signature capabilities to ensure data is accurately and completely captured. Once a form is deployed, end users – e.g., patients, hospital staff, caregivers or others – can enter and submit information that is routed to reviews and ultimately flows seamlessly into enterprise applications.
The solution can help save time, reduce labor costs, improve accuracy and streamline hospital/doctor/patient collaboration. It integrates easily with hospital applications such as HR, finance, clinical, customer services, administration and more through Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) standards.
“Healthcare is a document-rich industry where Ricoh can contribute significantly in terms of cost-effectiveness, productivity and sustainability,” Campana said. “We are demonstrating these capabilities with our 1,600 acute care organization clients and solving challenging customer problems every day.”
Solutions like these have helped customers like the University of Louisville (Ky.) Hospital save $3 million.