Totalcare document module can recognise multiple barcodes

Equipoise (International) (EQI), the developer of the Totalcare clinical, office and management software suite, has released a new automated document import module that can recognise barcodes in scanned documents and automatically match them with the patient's file.

Called Dvorak, the new module is an extension of Totalcare's Documents module, and has the ability to automatically detect and recognise different sorts of barcodes from incoming correspondence. The barcodes, either attached as labels or printed directly on the document, are commonly used to identify the patient or the document type and there can be multiple barcodes on each document.

Dvorak runs as an unattended server process that automatically processes documents as they are received and can detect and match barcodes – which may contain a patient's UR number or a hospital's own MRN – and file the document correctly.

It can also read barcodes that identify a document as a particular type of form, such as financial consent, and can manage multiple barcodes and symbologies, no matter where they are on the document.

EQI managing director Nat Wong said that from a business perspective, the productivity improvements that Dvorak can achieve are significant.

“Paper is still prevalent in healthcare, whether in an administrative or clinical capacity, and even otherwise paperless environments still receive paper documents from patients and a multitude of other sources,” Mr Wong said.

“Managing that volume of paper efficiently, converting it automatically to a digital form, and then making it available in a timely manner to clinicians and administrative staff, is a key enabler of efficient, quality healthcare.”

Mr Wong used the example of Pindara Emergency Centre, a private emergency centre attached to the Ramsay Healthcare-operated Pindara Private Hospital on the Gold Coast, which receives multiple documents using different kinds of barcodes, including Ramsay's clinical software Meditech's UR numbers and Ramsay's internal references.

“If a barcode is on this position of the paper – and it doesn't matter the orientation or the page that it is on – and it's a particular symbology, we can say we know that one is a UR number from an XYZ system,” Mr Wong said. “There might be another barcode containing a formal identification used in some other system, we can cross-match those labels.

“We can also identify that this is a financial consent or summary and we can cross-reference the document information and know that a particular type of document needs to processed in a certain way. So when we pull it into our document repository, we can tag it and reference different workflows.”

Mr Wong said barcodes in hospitals and general practices are nothing new, but being able to determine which of the barcodes on a document are the ones that are important is the key to Dvorak.

“It can differentiate between this one in the top left-hand part of the page, which might be the patient identifier, and this one on the bottom of page two actually tells you what kind of document it is,” he said. “We are not aware of anybody who is doing that.”

Posted in Australian eHealth

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