OUH handles documents electronically with OnBase

With the help of electronic document management, Odense University Hospital (OUH) improves patient care by reducing waiting times, increasing employee satisfaction with immediate access to necessary documents, and reducing labor-intensive procedures in connection to compliance with medical records.

Odense University Hospital (OUH) is one of Denmark’s largest hospitals with 7,500 employees and more than 1,000 beds. The hospital treats 350,000 patients, 60,000 emergency room patients and 488,000 ambulant annually. Thus, care is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With a record store that previously occupied 7 kilometers of physical space, OUH needed a solution for electronic document management that could reduce the costly storage of paper and support electronic patient records (EPR).

The requirements from OUH were therefore that electronic patient records and associated documents should be accessible immediately and securely via the Internet at all times of the day. The solution was to comply with national legislation regarding the storage of medical records and patients’ personal information. OUH wanted a solution for electronic document management that would enable easy integration with any EPR-system that might become necessary in the future.

Streamlining and saving space

With instant access to desired documents, and the reduction of labor-intensive procedures for complying with document management requirements, OUH is able to reduce patients’ waiting time and create space for private hospital visiting areas in rooms previously used for paper storage.

“With OnBase, access to documents is 64 times faster than with the paper version,” says section manager at OUH, Jette Kotsis, and adds: “Before OnBase, it took employees 7 minutes to retrieve the necessary documents, but with OnBase, the documents are retrieved in 7 seconds.”

By removing tasks that previously required a lot of paper and thus increased the consumption of time and finances associated with patient contact, including filling-out or manually retrieving paper documents, OUH has been able to move many secretaries from all departments to other necessary secretarial positions. In addition, storage space in hospitals is very costly, and therefore the abolition of 7-kilometer paper records a high value.

Unlike OUH’s previous document management system, which used client software for document search installed on all workstations, OnBase can be updated on the server instead of on the more than 2,000 IT workstations.

OnBase creates value for multiple departments

In Odense, OnBase was chosen as a starting point due to the system’s possibilities for web-adapted document management, but the implementation has been expanded to also include additional administrative needs and requirements for record management at the hospital.

OnBase also handles other business processes at OUH, which include a workflow that aims to facilitate negotiations between unions and the hospital. In addition, a plan must deal with staffing and personnel issues. At the same time, the need for training of employees involved in the OnBase processes was minimal at OUH. “It is a very user-friendly system,” explains Jette Kotsis.

Digitization is the green choice

The implementation of OnBase and Cosmic (OUH’s EPR-system) supports environmentally friendly, “green” initiatives, as electronic documents reduce the costly importance of paper in document-based processes. Resources and costs associated with printing, storage, shipping and paper production are reduced through the use of electronic documents.

Future-proof solution

In the future, it is likely that a common solution will be introduced in the healthcare system that meets all requirements between all EHR systems in Scandinavia. It therefore requires all hospitals to keep their documents in electronic form. With OUH’s solution with Cosmic and OnBase, the hospital is at the forefront of preparing for any future requirements for national electronic patient records (EPR).

In order to comply with current national legislation regarding the storage of electronic documents, OUH uses OnBase CD Authoring to create a journal for data recovery in the event of an IT-system crash directly from the OnBase system.

Healthcare professionals from all over Europe come to Odense regularly to see the far-sighted processes at OUH, and many use the hospital’s successful methods as a model for ideas for future implementation with the aim of streamlining processes and improving patient care using a long-term EPR.

Jette Kostis emphasizes that “all hospitals should have a system like OnBase.”

Benefits of electronic document management with OnBase

  • Treatment of multiple patients without requiring additional staff or resources.
  • Better utilization of limited and expensive hospital space. The space that was previously used for storage will be converted into additional rooms with undisturbed patient care.
  • Authorized healthcare professionals can search required documents related to the patient’s electronic medical record 64 times faster than paper processes.
  • Employees can access information directly from Cosmic in just 7 seconds, which by comparison took more than 7 minutes before the implementation of OnBase.
  • Removal of paper-intensive searches and archiving, which increased the time and cost of patient contact, while allowing for the relocation of secretaries from all departments to other necessary secretarial positions.
  • Reduces costs and supports environmental initiatives by minimizing the paper production, printing, storage and shipping associated with paper-intensive, document-based processes.
  • Complies with national requirements for storage of documents with requirements for hospitals to keep records for 15 years.
  • Equip the organization to comply with forthcoming national EHR requirements.

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