This process has made it easy to retrieve a complete, digital patient health care record from anywhere in the hospital, on demand.
The first fully digital private hospital in Australia and the only private hospital on a university campus, Macquarie University Hospital has set the benchmark for health care services in private hospitals. Opened in 2010, the 183 bed facility offers a comprehensive range of services and specialty areas, with links to the Macquarie University Clinic and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine.
As part of its vision, the Macquarie University Hospital Health Information Services team set out to create a paperless environment to effectively manage incoming clinical documentation.
“With its patient focused culture and efficiency driven business, Macquarie University Hospital required a fully integrated system to handle the capture and flow of patient related data,” said Debra Dwyer, Managing Director of Computron Software Australia, a certified Platinum Kofax Partner. “Macquarie University Hospital asked us to devise a streamlined automated records management solution to assist in minimising the time, accuracy, cost and occupational health and safety issues traditionally created by the storage and retrieval of vast quantities of paper-based patient information.”
This system was required to complement the fully digital environment that had already been established at Macquarie University Hospital. Patient healthcare information at this hospital is integrated across departments, wards, theatres and ICU, ensuring clinical documentation is instantly available and a patient’s journey can be tracked throughout the entire hospital system.
Azad Ekmekjian, Manager Health Information Services at the hospital, explained, “Although we are fully digital, we still have to cater for external organisations that work with paper records. Take for example a patient who may have been treated at another facility. They may arrive here with paper documents pertaining to their previous treatment and we must ensure this information is entered into our system so it can be instantly available to all our clinicians involved in the treatment of this patient.
“We felt confident that the solution proposed by Kofax’s certified implementation partner, Computron, would create a user friendly, efficient and effective system for our patient records. While this was the first Kofax implementation of its kind in Australia, we could see that Computron’s expertise in the conversion of complex invoicing systems could also be configured to our needs,” Ekmekjian said.
Macquarie University Hospital mapped out the workflow processes to follow the inpatient journey which included staff responsibilities at each stage of patient care. The Health Information Services team then briefed Computron on these processes, providing them with the necessary information to develop a system that complemented this workflow.
Once this had been developed Computron assisted in training a number of key staff in preparation for the hospital’s opening.
The Kofax solution minimises manual intervention. The system recognises scanned paper documents and reads an affixed patient barcode label or the handwritten surname and date of birth, and retrieves the patient’s Macquarie University Hospital unit record number from the hospital’s Oracle database. The Kofax system then automatically identifies the form type and document class, and populates the subject and description of the document along with other required metadata. The hospital’s administration staff then complete the process by verifying that the auto-populated fields are correct.
Macquarie University Hospital’s digital environment, encompassing automated forms management, has largely eliminated the overhead found in traditional, paper-based hospital systems. This process has made it easy to retrieve a complete, digital patient health care record from anywhere in the hospital, on demand.
“The Kofax solution implemented by Computron demonstrates the importance of ‘behind the scenes’ efforts to support the highest levels of patient care through the efficient delivery of timely and accurate information,” Ekmekjian said.
Macquarie University Hospital has already received awards for its administrative excellence, including the 2011 Innovative Practice in the Private Sector, Non-clinical and Operational Innovations Award from the industry’s peak body, the Private Hospitals’ Association of Queensland.