- Challenge: To connect patient information across various silos and improve continuity
of care, while streamlining the EMR transition.
- Solution: Leveraged Iron Mountain Image on Demand™ solution to digitize paper-based records on an as-needed basis and quickly deliver the most important data to the point of care.
- Results: Image on Demand improved access to patient information and created a comprehensive patient record that furthers Lahey Clinic’s EMR transition.
Lahey Clinic, a non-profit group practice based in Massachusetts, includes more than 5,000 physicians, nurses, therapists and support staff working together
to provide compassionate care and superior patient outcomes. The hospital offers its patients access to leading physicians who use a consultative approach to develop personalized, individually focused treatment plans.
To help its clinicians create these plans, Lahey devised
a system that immediately digitized its newest records. Though effective at quickly delivering the most recent patient information to the point of care, this process
would still require a large volume of active, paper-based patient records to reside in both onsite and offsite locations.
Lahey worked with Iron Mountain to develop a paper-to-digital workflow that creates electronic versions of
select information on an as-needed basis. Using the
Iron Mountain Image on Demand solution, Lahey is able
to put the right information in its clinicians’ hands at the
rapid Delivery of Patient Information Where it’s Needed Most
In perhaps no industry is the timely delivery of information more critical than healthcare. When a patient’s safety depends on the right data being in the right hands at the right time, any delay can have the costliest of consequences. To ensure that its clinicians have access to the proper patient information, Lahey Clinic established a document conversion program designed to create electronic versions of the paper records generated whenever an individual was admitted to the hospital.
While this imaging program helped Lahey create a digital set of its most recent records — and facilitated its transition to an EMR — it needed a process for converting and delivering the information contained in its over 1.2 million existing paper records. Since Lahey often treats patients with chronic illnesses, these records could remain active for some time — regardless of the duration between
visits — forcing caregivers to search for patient information in both paper and electronic formats.
However, it soon became clear that requiring clinicians to locate a single record among the various silos of patient information — including physical storage facilities, and paper and digital formats — could compromise care. This prompted the team at Lahey to pursue a more streamlined, efficient means of accessing this critical data. “Our goal was to ensure clinicians had the right information on hand at the right time,” says Lori P. Jayne, Director of Health Information Management and Privacy Officer for Lahey Clinic. “To do so, we needed to develop a workflow that digitized and delivered paper-based records on an as-needed basis.”
An Intelligent, Selective Imaging Program
To realize its goal of delivering the most important data to the point of care, Lahey opted to work with Iron Mountain, its long-time information management partner. Collaborating with Iron Mountain consultants, Jayne and her colleagues developed a paper-to-digital workflow that creates electronic abstracts of the most pertinent areas of paper-based patient records.
“Iron Mountain helped us hone in on the subset of information most critical to patient care,” explains Jayne. “We used the insight gained from this process to define a workflow for extracting that information from the record and creating a digital abstract.”
At the heart of this new process is the Iron Mountain Image on Demand solution. Image on Demand is a core capability of the Iron Mountain EMR Enablement Solution, which helps healthcare organizations connect patient information across silos and streamline the conversion of paper records to electronic form via customizable imaging, backup and storage options.
Image on Demand enables Lahey to digitize select portions of a patient record, develop an electronic abstract and move these images to its EMR system. This process ensures that, once uploaded, the abstracts are instantly available to all clinicians in a single system throughout
the continuum of care.
Accessible Information, Improved Patient care
The Iron Mountain Image on Demand solution has delivered significant benefits to Lahey in the form of timeliness and accessibility of information. “Once a record is scanned, we know that it will be available at the point of care, where it is most useful,” Jayne says. “We no longer have to search for patient information across formats — instead, it is readily available to all clinicians as needed.”
In fact, since kicking off the project, Lahey has uploaded well over 7,000 images to its EMR system. Having this volume of information on hand greatly improves accessibility, leading to an optimized workflow and — ultimately — better patient care.
Going forward, Jayne expects to realize considerable
cost savings related to the resources that support medical records operations — especially as the organization expands its use of Image on Demand to incorporate different record sets.
And, as a key component of the Iron Mountain EMR Enablement Solution, Image on Demand is also playing
a significant role in helping Lahey advance its EMR transition. “Adopting Image on Demand is critical to bridging the gap between paper and electronic records
and providing the highest standards of patient care. Iron Mountain is helping Lahey Clinic to successfully prepare its EMR, and extend its benefits to our patients,” Jayne says.
About Iron Mountain. Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM) provides information management services that help organizations lower the costs, risks and inefficiencies of managing their physical and digital data. Founded in 1951, Iron Mountain manages billions of information assets, including backup and archival data, electronic records, document imaging, business records, secure shredding, and more, for organizations around the world. Visit the company Web site at www.ironmountain.com for more information.