Anoto Group, a provider of digital pen and paper technology, and ExpeData, an innovative software company experience in digital writing, announced that HealthEssentials is utilizing digital pen and paper technology within its hospice organizations to enable continuous improvement of patient care and streamline e-communications. Hospice organizations using the solution include Hospice Touch in Orange County, Gerinet Healthcare Burbank, and Gerinet Healthcare Downey. The solution will also be deployed within its physicians group, GNMA (GeriNet Medical Associates).
HealthEssentials is a management services organization that oversees a family of companies including pharmacy, durable medical equipment (DME), post-acute, long-term care physician services, and home health and hospices. They have a significant field staff of chaplains, home health aides, social workers, homemakers, case managers, visiting nurses, and admissions nurses who fill out hard copy forms and submit the information to their respective offices either in person, by fax or by phone. This system proved to be inefficient due to unclear handwriting, the excessive time it took to turn in the forms and the resulting phase for coordinators to file the paperwork.
Since deploying digital pen and paper technology HealthEssentials has been able to capture forms data and submit it instantly electronically, thereby decreasing the time spent processing the information and resulting in the following improvements:
- Better Care for Patients: Patients can now receive new prescriptions and medical equipment they need at a faster rate since the information is captured and transferred electronically.
- Increased Productivity: Less time processing paperwork and more time caring for patients, since data captured in the pens can now be submitted using a Blackberry via Bluetooth.
- Improved Quality Assurance: Improved access to readily identifiable leading indicators such as pain scores resulting in better response time to patient needs.
- Cost Savings: Based on results from divisions currently using the technology, HealthEssentials is estimating cost savings in a number of areas including:
Mileage costs - $23,000
Printing costs - $101,000
Diminished need for production of binders for medical records- $7,000
Decreased staff hours - $60,000
“It is critical that all patient records are up-to-date,” says Stacey Rodillon, project manager for HealthEssentials. “With our old process, team coordinators spent the majority of their day filing forms submitted by the field staff. With digital pen and paper technology, both our business practices and patient outcomes have now been improved. We are confident that utilizing digital pen and paper technology for our field service data is the most viable option in terms of cost and effectiveness.”
The system works exactly like traditional pen and paper. Staff members fill out paper forms and the handwritten information is recorded onto a chip in the digital pen. When the form is completed, the data in the pen is transferred via Bluetooth using a BlackBerry. The handwritten information is converted into electronic data for immediate use.
The Anoto/ExpeData joint solution includes the following components:
- BlackBerry using Bluetooth on the Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile networks
- ExpeData EDW Forms Manager software to setup the documents for handwriting interpretation
- ExpeData EDW Mobile software on the mobile device.
- ExpeData EDW Server Level 4 for processing of handwriting captured by the digital pen.
- ExpeData professional services for training, project management and forms creation. Anoto digital pen and dot pattern technology
“Digital pen and paper technology is enabling healthcare organizations across the globe to increase efficiencies while allowing staff to continue to use what they are already familiar with – pen and paper,” says Pietro Parravicini, president and CEO of Anoto, Inc. Unlike laptops or tablets, there is less room for user error, and digital pens do not require any complex troubleshooting, resulting in immediate benefits from their use.”
"As a global leader in the digital writing market, ExpeData understands the challenges faced by organizations with a large field service staff,” says Doug Patterson, vice president of business vevelopment, ExpeData. “Healthcare services in particular need an efficient way to manage costs and avoid complexity. Utilizing digital pen and paper technology enables organizations like HealthEssentials to eliminate unnecessary paperwork and focus their attention on what matters most -- patient care.”