Artemis Hospital digitised and unlocked the power of patient information by deploying Ricoh’s cloud-based document management system (DMS).
by Madhav Mohan
Artemis certainly isn’t the first hospital to implement a document management system (DMS), but it is one of the effectively, says Kapil Mehrotra, CIO, Artemis Hospitals.
A few months into his job, Mehrotra realised that the hospital was spending more than Rs. 25 lakh a year for storing medical records in a rented space.
Worse, these files no longer needed to be stored as hospitals are required to store medical records only for up to five years. “But we didn’t want to destroy patient data which crossed the five year deadline,” says Mehrotra. Thus began the tryst for a DMS which would be simple to use, and would digitise medical records effectively. “We wanted a solution that would be reliable, manageable, secure, and cost-effective,” says Mehrotra. And that’s why, Artemis turned to Ricoh.
Mehrotra realised that with the solution, the company would enjoy a host of benefits such as patient-friendly data access, secure patient records, reduced costs, and improved decision-making, to name a few. “The solution is cost-effective and has great features. For instance, there’s a search option, where users can input a patient’s ID and retrieve all the information of the patient,” says Mehrotra. The solution is user-friendly and users don’t need to click several tabs to get to the information they need.
Mehrotra says that Ricoh defined good security parameters to ensure the safety of critical data. “Users are given different roles so that the documents cannot be downloaded, saved or printed without appropriate permission,” he says. One of the main challenges was to find order in the chaos. There was data as old as eight years, and Artemis didn’t want to digitise everything at once. It chose to digitise medical records from 2007 to 2010. The hospital digitised a total of 27,000 files, or roughly one crore pages. The entire process was carried out with little or no manual intervention. Once the records were fed into the system, the rest of the process – from converting pages into a PDF format to storing files in a cloud-based, central, digital, repository and then indexing them – was mostly automated.
The new system was customised to use six parameters – doctor’s name, patient’s identity, date of birth, name, location, and treatment category – which simplifies search and gives results in just three seconds. “Ricoh’s DMS helps to configure automated workflows. The finance department shares information with the users and multiple people can work on the same documents at the same time,” he says.
Once the hospital was done with the humongous task of digitising all patient data, Mehrotra realised what a fruitful investment it had been. Mehrotra says that the solution fit his budget and it has saved the hospital a lot on physical storage cost annually.
As the cloud is all about archiving and retrieval, Mehrotra said that the solution offers foolproof archives with offsite backups. After seeing the benefits of digitising medical records, Artemis’ finance and HR departments also have expressed interest in undertaking a similar exercise. And the fact that the project was completed in just four months – thanks to Ricoh – egged them on.