The Ikazia Hospital offers patient-bound care in Rotterdam-Zuid and surroundings, within a Protestant Christian hospital. In order to provide the best possible care for patients, paperwork should no longer be an obstacle. This is achieved by partly going digital in collaboration with Archive-IT. Dr. Morrel (Gynaecologist) and Mrs. Mulders (Head of the Central Medical Archive) talk about the initial phase of this digitisation process.
A representative pilot project
Dr. Morrel explains how the hospital started digitizing: “We started with the Gynaecology Department as a pilot project, because this is a complex clinic. Particularly in the case of obstetric patients, women often come to the hospital at night, so that the doctor has to have the right information very quickly. In the past, it often happened that such a file was still in the outpatient clinic, on a dictation pile or still in the nursing ward. Then it was often difficult to find the necessary information. The decision to start with such a complex department was obvious; because if it was completed properly, we could tackle the other clinics with certainty and confidence. To be honest, Archive-IT offers a lot of support in the process, so that the pilot went without any noteworthy problems.”
“In order to be able to make the transition from a paper to a digital working environment, we had more than two volumes of files scanned,” says Mrs. Mulders. “Yet we still receive physical documents. Think of referral letters or results from outside the own hospital that the patients bring with them. These are scanned centrally at our Central Medical Archive (CMA) with the correct file. From now on, the doctor will make new notes directly on the computer in the iSoft software package. Archive-IT is a perfect match for this. The Ikazia Hospital generally keeps its outpatient files in the clinics themselves and the clinical files in the CMA. Of course, it sometimes happens that there is not enough space in the clinics; we then temporarily store them in the CMA. They then go to the secure archive depot of Archive-IT. As of 2009, we will digitise new clinical files entirely under our own management.”
Efficient, fast and secure
“The Ikazia Hospital has been working with JIM for a long time,” adds Mrs. Mulders. “JIM is used to manage the paper files and to request the externally placed files from Archive-IT. Applying for files via JIM is very pleasant: within half an hour we can already consult the requested files, scanned and all.” “It used to be very different,” says Dr. Morrel, “during the day it wasn’t that much of a problem – even if it sometimes took some walking – but at night and the outside hours we did it with what we had. It was either not possible or we had to make all kinds of phone calls in the middle of the night to ask for files in the archive. Now, with the digital file, we don’t have to worry about that anymore. We can consult the digitised files directly from any of the hospital’s workstations, if authorised.”
Mrs. Mulder explains the future steps: “The gynecology and paediatrics clinic are now digital and at the moment it’s the turn of the surgery clinic. Of all the patients who come in now, all the information is in the computer. The emergency department’s treatment file has recently been updated with a digital version as well. There they can fill in their own findings. At the moment only the nurse part, but soon the doctors will also be able to put their findings in it. We will soon be digitising the OR file as well.” Dr. Morrel has to add: “All checks and double-checks that have been made compulsory by the ministry and the inspectorate are filled in by the practitioner and the nurse before an operation, and this will also be done digitally. Gynecology is therefore the first to work with the digital OVD (Operation Sequel File) within Ikazia. This will enable us to expand our electronic file further and further. Archive-IT’s software and services are an important link in this process.”