by Amy Weiss
Spend any amount of time in a healthcare setting — a hospital, doctor’s office, surgical center or rehab facility, for example — and you’ll quickly realize a few things: medicine has come a long way, hospital coffee has not, and communication is absolutely vital in healthcare — something that has been both helped and hindered by technology and the need for security.
Subject to numerous regulations regarding everything from privacy to security to patient access, the U.S. healthcare system has long experienced a push toward increased productivity in the form of electronic health records (EHR), marked primarily by the passing of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA), as well as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010. Creating patient access, documentation and patient-centered care requirements, the Affordable Care Act made it clear that technology was needed to fulfill many of today’s healthcare requirements.
But even in a large health system that has received billions in technology funding, interdepartmental communication remains problematic at best. When patient information needs to be relayed quickly, efficiently and securely, even organizations with access to top-tier technology can miss the boat when it comes to coordinating patient schedules and information. So how can a smaller organization manage?
Late last year, Xerox launched a solution designed to help smaller providers, with the Xerox Healthcare Multifunction Printer Solution (Healthcare MFP). Using Xerox’s ConnectKey technology and the specialized healthcare document management services of Kno2, the Healthcare MFP was designed to allow healthcare providers to electronically share patient information with the push of a (secure) button.
Kno2, a clinical document exchange cloud service, helps healthcare professionals access, search and route patient information to providers across the country. The Kno2 data exchange network allows patient information to move electronically in a standardized, HIPPA-compliant format, regardless of the provider’s level of adoption of electronic medical records (EMR). Kno2’s network enables delivery of direct messaging through the SureScripts National Directory of healthcare providers, offers an accredited framework through DirectTrust, provides document query through Carequality, and allows for identify verification through Equifax services. A subscription to the Kno2 desktop solution is included for providers using the Healthcare MFP.
The built-in “Share Patient Information” button on the Healthcare MFP adds to the standard print, scan, copy and fax buttons on an MFP, allowing smaller providers to replace faxing as a common method of transmitting information and stay current with EMR regulations as well as eliminating paperwork. In one example, a midsized urgent care provider was able to save time on both the transfer of patient information and re-inputting forms with errors.
Security in 2017 is, possibly, more important than ever, and when it comes to healthcare its importance can’t be overstated. This further complicates the need for quick and efficient communication of patient records and information. Add to that a level of technological inequity between large health systems and smaller providers and the problem of sharing patient information easily and securely is a big one. The Xerox solution should help to bridge that gap, allowing any healthcare facility that leases a Xerox Healthcare MFP — a form of device they would need to have anyway — entry into the realm of EMR.
It’s also a unique opportunity for the vendor. John Elwell, Kno2’s CEO, spent 18 years in the imaging space and says “20 percent of MFPs are upgraded every year in healthcare. Why would you buy it without share information? It makes it very easy for the rep.” Roughly 700,000 locations across the U.S., he says, are eligible for the solution.
The Healthcare MFP is available in the United States as a new configuration of any of the following Xerox devices: Xerox WorkCentre 3655i, Xerox WorkCentre 5865i/5875i/5890i, Xerox WorkCentre 5945i/5955i, Xerox WorkCentre 6655i, Xerox WorkCentre 7220i/7225i and Xerox WorkCentre 7830i/7835i/7845i/7855i. Pricing for the Healthcare MFP starts at around $2,500 or about $10 per month additional on a typical lease for a comparable standard Xerox WorkCentre.
Xerox reports initial response has been positive, and the pricing and the technology would appear to make the Healthcare MFP an MVP for small healthcare providers.