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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Hospital's Document Imaging Goes Digital

patient documents
The OU Medical Center generates thousands of patient documents such as this form. Because of privacy concerns, this is a mocked up sample.
Bell+Howell scanner
Photos: OU Medical Center
This Bell+Howell scanner scans thousands of patient documents. The hospital is in the process of scanning its paper records, a process that may continue for five years.
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In 2004, the BIS service bureau scanned nearly 15 million documents for OU Medical Center.

On average, BIS converts 200 to 300 boxes of patient files to images every week. BIS will continue to image patient files until the entire hospital is fully computerized. Valerie Bell, a manager of the health information management department, estimates that this will take at least five years.

The images of patient records date back to 2002 and are stored in EMC Documentum ApplicationXtender. They are available for retrieval by OU Medical Center staff through BIS MasterScan. Staff members click on a desktop icon for MasterScan to launch the search dialogue box. Patient files can be found through a variety of search criteria, including patient name, medical record number, account number and date of birth.

Any imaged document can be retrieved, viewed and printed through the application by any staff member with access to the patient files. Because of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations, electronic patient records are secured, and access to the files is closely monitored within the hospital.

OU Medical Center has reduced the time it takes to find patient information. While it used to take 10 to 15 minutes to find a patient record on microfilm, it now takes less than one minute to locate an imaged document stored in EMC Documentum ApplicationXtender using the search functions within MasterScan.

Bell says, "They (BIS) has saved us a lot of time and money by capturing our documents electronically instead of using our outdated microfilm equipment."



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