In the late ‘90s, Geisinger took a fresh look at its labor intensive, distributed process of capturing and storing its hundreds of millions of documents. As with many healthcare organizations during that time period, most data was stored in hard copy at the facility where it was generated, making it difficult for employees or medical personnel in other locations to access.
To help resolve the situation, Geisinger placed flatbed scanners in each office so information could be scanned and, ideally, retrieved quicker. However, because the first priority was taking care of patients and members, “A significant amount of the office staff’s time was being misappropriated away from their core responsibilities,” said David Partsch, Geisinger’s IT Program Director for Enterprise Imaging & Content Management. “Paper documents were piling up all over the place.”
And the need for a solution was pervasive across all areas of the organization, including Human Resources, Administration, Business Office, Finance and Patient Financial Services. In 1997, Geisinger retained Partsch, a veteran FBI computer specialist, to help create capture driven processes to ensure the right people could access the right documents at the right time to optimize member care and operational efficiency.
“We always managed to stay on top of customer queries and meet our service-level agreements (SLAs), but we knew that we could do better,” Gurney said. “We wanted to be more proactive, and provide all customers with up-to-the-minute insight into their orders instead of waiting until they came to us with a query.”
Partsch and his team defined the most critical requirements for a capture driven process solution, including:
Multiple Capture On-Ramps and Format
With specifications established, the IT team extensively evaluated various solutions and unanimously selected Kofax Capture, which they implemented in 1998. Partsch’s team implemented a phased approach starting with business capture, then integrating Kofax into Geisinger’s document management system and ultimately into the company’s EMR system starting in 2000.
Over time, Geisinger adopted a shared services approach, consolidating its distributed imaging efforts into a centralized Corporate Imaging department that handles all business, operational and outpatient document scanning, indexing and capture. Today, Kofax is the enterprise capture solution for all scanned documents within Geisinger Health System. Geisinger placed Kofax installations in the Medical Records departments at all of its hospitals. As patients are discharged, related documents are scanned, captured and linked to the patient’s chart. Kofax enables all documents to be scanned in full color, which is important to accommodate Geisinger’s color coding processes.
In addition, Geisinger has implemented fax and email capture, forwarding those document types directly into the Kofax Capture infrastructure. This is an important function because clinical documents are frequently faxed from outside entities.
In accounts payable, where Kofax serves as the capture and indexing component, invoice processing time has dropped from 15 days to less than two. And because invoices are frequently discounted based on net days paid, Geisinger’s faster invoice processing has enabled the company to generate a savings of more than $500,000 per year in discounts alone.
Geisinger also previously performed capture of clinical documents at outpatient sites via low volume flatbed scanners using front office personnel. Doing so created a large backfile pileup of documents at each clinic and pulled office personnel away from their primary focus of interacting with patients. With the efficiencies generated by Kofax Capture and high volume scanners in the Corporate Imaging department, Geisinger moved clinical document capture from the clinics to its centralized capture department, saving $1.2 million per year since 2000.
Today, every clinical document is captured within 24 hours and all backfiles at the clinics have been processed. Partsch commented, “After implementing Kofax, our paper document back file ceased immediately and day-to-day capture operates seamlessly and problem-free. We know where every document is at any given time.”