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Scanning Is a Feature of Healthcare IT and Will Be Forever

Posted on October 11, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

When I first started writing about EMR and EHR, I regularly discussed the idea of a paperless office. What I didn’t realize at the time and what has become incredibly clear to me now is that paper will play a part in every office Forever (which I translate to my lifetime). While paper will still come into an office, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a paperless office when it comes to the storage and retrieval of those files. The simple answer to the paper is the scanner.

A great example of this point was discussed in this post by The Nerdy Nurse called “Network Scanning Makes Electronic Medical Records Work.” She provides an interesting discussion about the various scanning challenges from home health nurses to a network scanner used by multiple nurses in a hospital setting.

The good people at HITECH Answers also wrote about “Scanning and Your EHR Implementation.” Just yesterday I got an email from someone talking about how they should approach their old paper charts. It’s an important discussion that we’re still going to have for a while to come. I’m still intrigued by the Thinning Paper Charts approach to scanning, but if I could afford it I’d absolutely outsource the scanning to an outside company. They do amazing work really fast. They even offer services like clinical data abstraction so you can really enhance the value of your scanned charts.

However, even if you outsource your old paper charts, you’ll still need a heavy duty scanner for ongoing paper that enters your office. For example, I have the Canon DR-C125 sitting next to my desk and it’s a scanner that can handle the scanning load of healthcare. You’ll want a high speed scanner like this one for your scanning. Don’t try to lean on an All-in-One scanner-printer-copier. It seems like an inexpensive alternative, but the quality just isn’t the same and after a few months of heavy scanning you’ll have to buy a new All-in-One after you burn it out. Those are just made for one off scanning as opposed to the scanning you have to do in healthcare.

David Harlow also covers an interesting HIPAA angle when it comes to scanners. In many cases, scanners don’t store any PHI on the scanner. However, in some cases they do and so you’ll want to be aware of this so that the PHI stored on the device is cleaned before you dispose of it.

Certainly many organizations are overwhelmed by meaningful use, ICD-10, HIPAA Omnibus, and changing reimbursement. However, things like buying the right scanner make all the difference when it comes to the long term happiness of your users.

Sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc.  Canon’s extensive scanner product line enables businesses worldwide to capture, store and distribute information.

Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 Scanner – Healthcare Gadget Corner

Posted on January 7, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over my years implementing EMR software and talking with others who implement EMR software is the need to have a heavy duty scanner available. Anyone who is still under the illusion that implementing an EMR will lead them to a “paperless office” is just mistaken.

While you will be able to largely do away with your paper charts, you will still have plenty of paper floating around your office. Much of that paper will come through your printer (EMR software is great at printing records), at your front desk, and brought in by your patients. The best way to deal with this influx of paper in your office is to purchase a heavy duty scanner. You can see that I have added a number of heavy duty scanners on my EMR Technology Products list and after this review you will see why I’m adding the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner to that list as well.
DR-C125
I was able to test out the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125for the last month and I have been quite pleased with its performance. The quality, speed, accuracy, and functionality of the scanner was as good as any of the other scanners I have used or implemented before. Plus, it comes in at about half the price of the relatively comparable Fujitsu fi-6130 scanner and just a touch more expensive than the Ambir imageScan Pro 820i. That makes it a great value for those looking for a high volume scanner for their medical office.

What might be the imageFORMULA DR-C125’s best feature is the ability to switch to the U-turn scanning mode which stacks the scanned pages neatly in an upright tray or to have the scanned pages sent through the bottom of the scanner. The bottom scanning is best used when scanning thicker items like ID cards or credit cards. This simple switch on the side of the scanner is a great feature that can save a lot of desk space since you don’t have to leave room below the scanner for the scanned pages. Plus, the upright U-turn scanning pathway makes it easy for you to grab the scanned pages from the scanner.

Along with standard features such as duplex scanning, auto-duplex recognition, and card scanning the imageFORMULA DR-C125 has a number of features worth noting. It has a really simple one touch scanning button which integrates well with the CaptureOnTouch software. The scanner also supports OCR (Optical Character Recognition) of the scanned documents and supports the TWAIN driver which is supported by most EHR software vendors.

Another really cool feature is the Ultrasonic Double-Feed Detection that comes with the scanner. This ensures that no data is lost in the event that a double-feed occurs during scanning. You can resolve the double-feed as it occurs which will save you time having to re-scan items.

I was quite pleased with the simple usability of the CaptureOnTouch software that’s provided with the scanner. I loved how it simply handled combining multiple scans into one document (if so desired). The scanner also comes with the more advanced PaperPort 11 and OmniPage (which you’ll need for OCR). I’m a big fan of PaperPort software for many situations, but in most healthcare situations you will likely want to integrate your scanner directly to your EHR software and so you won’t likely need the PaperPort functions.

I’d say my only real complaint about the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner was that it has a bit of a plasticy feel to its design. I haven’t run into any troubles with the design myself, but those trained in the visual aesthetics of Apple like design will likely be disappointed by its visual appeal. I’m personally a function over form kind of guy in most situations and the DR-C125 function makes up for whatever it lacks in form.

For those who have the environment on your mind, you’ll be happy to know that the imageFORMULA DR-C125 meets the ENERGY STAR® guidelines for energy efficiency.

I’m glad to add the Canon imageFORMULA DR-C125 scanner to my list of EMR Technology products. If there are other questions you have about the scanner, I’d love to get them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Full Disclosure: Canon is an advertiser on the site and provided me the scanner to review.

Best Scanners for High Volume Scanning in a Doctor’s Office

Posted on March 2, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

We now interrupt all this HITECH act EHR stimulus money talk for our regularly scheduled program.

If you are looking at implementing EHR, then you better become familiar with a nice high quality scanner. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they are paperless. Sure, many don’t store paper, but even the very best EMR or EHR implementation has loads of paper that needs to be scanned.

Still don’t believe me, then how do you plan on handling a new patient who brings in a stack of paper records from their old doctor. I’ll leave the rest of the list of possible paper for another day. Suffice it to say that you’ll NEED a high quality scanner that can handle high volume.

When we first implemented we used a nice little all in one scanner. Worked well, except we literally burnt it out after less than a month of scanning.

After that we finally ponied up the money and bought some high quality, high volume fujitsu scanners. 4 years later we’re still scanning with no end in sight. We do have to do regular cleaning (about 5 minutes max) to clean off all the ink that gets on the feeder. Otherwise, these babies are the best I’ve seen. Here’s links to the 2 models fujitsu currently offers.

Fujitsu fi-6130 Duplex Scanner
Update: The Fujitsu Fi-6130 is no longer available, but here’s the Fujitsu Fi-7160

Fujitsu FI-6230 Clr Duplex 40PPM/30PPM USB
Flat bed and ADF feeder:
Update: The Fujitsu Fi-6230 is no longer available, but here’s the Fujitsu Fi-7260

One has a flat bed for those hard to feed scan items (ie. prescriptions) and the other is just the feeder for the high volume scanning.  Some may think it’s a little expensive for a scanner, but it’s worth it.

I’ll be updating my list of EMR and EHR technology with items like the scanners above. Many people have asked me which scanners are best, which computers are best, what about tablets, fax servers, etc, etc. Now you can just check out my list of software, tablets, computers, fax servers, scanners, printers, etc and see some recommended items to help your office.