December 10th, 2012
Electronic Health Record (EHR) adoption is growing nationwide. According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 55% of physicians had adopted EHR systems in 2011. About three-quarters of those adopters reported that using their EHR system resulted in enhanced patient care.
However, in order to fully maximize the benefits of these computerized systems for maintaining patient data (also referred to as Electronic Medical Records (or EMRS)), medical practices need to scan their existing paper charts into the system. A hybrid model – with both paper charts and new digital data – can be confusing and lead to inaccurate record-keeping.
To help practices digitize their paper charts during the EHR/EMR transition, OptiScan developed ChartWorx, an on-site scanning and processing appliance enabling our document experts to quickly organize, barcode, scan and process medical charts. We have the capability to scan thousands of charts a day, each optimized for image quality and size. Key benefits include:
- Charts Stay on Location – With ChartWorx, all records stay on site. No chart leaves the facility until the practice approves destruction. This is especially important, as many other document conversion companies will ask you to ship your charts to another state. That can create an obvious problem when those medical charts are needed for emergencies.
- Flexible Filing Options – We can adapt the conversion to fit any practice’s filing system requirements. You let us know the sequence of how charts are processed, and we make it happen.
- First-Rate Communication – The web tools within ChartWorx provide you with a real-time snapshot of our progress and allow for on- and off-site management of the job. Reporting and statistical metrics are gathered every step of the way.
- Small Office Footprint – Our computer, scanner and document experts take up very little space in your facility. They can work alongside your staff and ensure your operations aren’t disrupted during the conversion.
- Admin Collaboration – We have the ability to work closely with administrators to pull charts, train them on tools, and come up with workable solutions to any challenges that may arise.
To learn more about ChartWorx, call Optiscan at (800) 369-5997 or fill out our online form.
October 3rd, 2012
You have decided it’s time to buy a scanner for your office, but how do you know which one to choose? Before you head to the office supply store and face a dizzying array of options, determine exactly how you plan to use your scanner. Answering these simple questions will simplify your decision dramatically – and will ensure your money is well-spent.
- What do you need to scan? This is the single-most important question to answer before you make your purchase. Are you planning to digitize vast amounts of two-sided pages, or is your scanner intended for small, occasional projects? How big are your originals? Are you scanning paperwork, snapshots and film, or even 3D objects?
- Sheetfed or flatbed? A sheetfed scanner is a simple and inexpensive option for digitizing loose (unbound) paper. It scans individual sheets of paper in much the same way as a fax machine. It’s great for letter-size paper – not so great for small items like business cards or receipts. For small items, flatbed is a better choice. Flatbed scanners are also best for fragile items that are not bendable or could be easily damaged ( e.g. rare stamps or dried flowers) – as well as multidimensional objects, books and other bound papers.
- Do you need an automatic document feeder? If you’re only scanning a few pages at a time, a lower-priced manual feeder is your best bet. However, if your project requires longer documents, an automatic document feeder (ADF) is worth the extra few bucks.
- Are you scanning two-sided pages? If so, you should consider a scanner with duplexing capabilities. Duplexing scanners – the most expensive option – are equipped to scan two pages at the same time – and quickly. Depending on the size and frequency of your duplexing scanning projects, the cost may be well worth it. If you don’t scan two-sided objects often – or if your budget is tight – you can pick a scanner with a manual duplex feature. Duplexing automatic document feeders are higher-priced, but they automatically scan one side, turn the page over, and scan the other side.
- How much resolution do you need? Most scanners offer a minimum resolution of 600 ppi – that’s high enough resolution for most paper and photo scanning. However, you may require much higher optical resolution – 4,800 ppi or more – for negatives or 35 mm slides, especially if you’re planning to make prints at a much larger size than your film original. Likewise, such resolution is required for capturing very fine detail from small original images or objects like flowers, coins and stamps.
- Letter or legal? Flatbed scanners are typically designed for letter-sized paper and won’t work well for legal sheets. Flatbeds with automatic document feeders usually can scan legal pages with the ADF, but it’s important to double-check before you make your purchase.
- Do you need a special-purpose scanner? While general-purpose scanners suit most project needs, you may consider special-purpose scanners for books, slides and business cards. Other options include portable scanners, designed to fit in a laptop bag, and scanners the size of a pen. Choose your scanner according to the type and scale of your scanning projects.
- Is software free? Most, if not all scanners, are sold with the software you need to get started. Depending on your scanning project, you may want to seek out specialized scanning software that may have more features than the one bundled with the scanner. Features – such as photo editing, business card filing, the ability to create searchable PDFs, OCR , etc. – are excellent complements to existing scanning software.
June 14th, 2010
Large engineering companies, government agencies, school districts and libraries have archived content on microfilm for decades. Typical film archives have been used for grade transcripts, equipment manuals, newspapers, accounting documents, engineering drawings, etc. In many cases, there are large amounts of valuable data on this film, but it’s very difficult to locate specific information when stored in this format. Here are the top five reasons for converting that microfilm and microfiche into a digital format:
- Equipment to read and create new film is outdated and readers are either hard to find, take up too much space, or are in need of repair.
- It can be extremely time consuming to search through film, whether it be 16mm rolls, 35mm rolls, or in microfiche format.
- In order to use the information, the image from the film needs to be printed, scanned, then optionally recognized optically (OCR) in order to make the data usable.
- Film is usually stored in one place and prone to disasters or degraded over time. Digital storage is safe and secure. Disaster recovery systems can also be integrated.
- Importing the digitized content into a document management system (along with index data or utilizing OCR techniques) converts the archives to a useful format. Retrieval can be quick and easy.
Organizations that make the commitment to digitize film archives have seen a substantial increase in efficiency. Time to search for digital archive images is drastically reduced, leading to better customer service and reduced labor costs.
Professional scanning bureaus have the expertise and equipment to efficiently digitize your archives. Although the economy is putting a squeeze on budgets, and these types of projects have been put on hold, consideration must be made on the cost for film storage and labor costs for retrieval.
Does your organization utilize microfilm or micofiche? If so, what has prevented you from digitizing the data?