Making their Mark – Excellent Exhibit at National Archives

The Scan Man highly recommends the new exhibit, Marking Their Mark Stories Through Signatures,  at the National Archives in Washington DC.

Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures

An exhibition at the National Archives, Washington, DC
Opening March 21, 2014

A signature can be as routine as a mark on a form or as extraordinary as a stroke of the pen that changes the course of history. For example, the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence simultaneously committed the brave act of treason against King George III and created a new nation.

Well-known signatures are found throughout the records of the National Archives. Equally important are the multitude of marks by people unknown to history. The documents signed by these individuals represent fascinating stories to be discovered.

Senate “credentials” for Tristam Dalton, signed by John Hancock, February 10, 1789 National Archives, Records of the U.S. Senate

Senate “credentials” for Tristam Dalton, signed by John Hancock, February 10, 1789
National Archives, Records of the U.S. Senate

Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” features original signatures from our nationwide holdings.  From developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law, they illustrate the many ways people have “made their mark” on history.Legislation allowing electronic signatures to formalize a contract, or using the autopen to authenticate a law is leading us further away from personalized marks, symbolized by John Hancock’s famous and distinctive signature.

Tame the Document Storm

Kodak Alaris is the new Kodak company that builds the scanners we love at Modern Image.  Read about the Kodak Alaris scanners that are taming the “document storm”

Bustling Businesses Manage The ‘Document Storm’ With Enhanced Scanners From Kodak Alaris

Tame Content

Insurance companies, government agencies and healthcare facilities face a constant storm of paper documents that threaten to flood business processes and impede the flow of critical information. In these busy work environments, batches of paper such as insurance claims, vehicle registrations and patient records can be obstacles to productivity. To stem the tide, enterprises need to quickly extract data from paper-based documents and route the information to the right places at the right time to serve customers.

“Many offices and departments still struggle with the ‘document storm’ – an overwhelming amount of paper that creates workflow bottlenecks,” said Tony Barbeau, General Manager, Document Imaging. “The KODAK i3000 and i4000 Series Scanners are designed to address this, delivering a lot of power at an affordable price to help office workers focus less on the paper and more on the information it contains.”

The KODAK i3000 Series Scanners (http://youtu.be/Ah9_5s_orhg) are compact, highly robust, A3 rotary style desktop scanners capable of scanning multiple document types. The i3000 Series Scanners have increased scanning speeds including the KODAK i3400 now at90 pages per minute (ppm).Existing i3000 Series Scanner customers can upgrade the speed on their models with a free download from kodakalaris.com/go/i3000series.

Kodak Alaris is adding two new models to the i3000 Series – the KODAK i3250 Scanner and the KODAK i3450 Scanner. Eachincludes a built-in, book-edge A4 flatbed to allow users to easilyscan file folders, book pages, magazines, passports, torn documents and more, while the book-edge scanning feature scans the entire width of book pages with full clarity.

The new KODAK i4200Plus and KODAK i4600Plus Scanners arenow more powerful,allowing users to achieve consistent throughput at 200 and 300 dpi, in bitonal and color.KODAK i4000 Series Scanners are designed to help end users cost-effectively automate document capture and management. These scanners combine walk-up ease of use, one touch scanning, comprehensive software capabilities and simplified integration within new or existing document management processes for a complete information management solution.

“You shouldn’t have to choose between speed and quality for scanning documents. The enhancements to the i3000 and i4000 Series Scanners deliver both,” said Roger Markham, Product Manager, Document Imaging. “With faster speeds and more throughput options, Kodak Alaris has added efficiency and productivity to the capture process. The real benefit of these new features is that users will now be free to focus on more important tasks to help grow their businesses.”

For easy remote monitoring and maintenance, the KODAK i3000 and i4000 Series Scanners work seamlessly with KODAK Asset Management Software.  The software features a dashboard that makes monitoring the scanners’ status and performance a simple task. Users can register, install, configure, and maintain scanners, as well as diagnose and troubleshoot remotely with easy-to-access scanner logs. Together, KODAK Scanners and KODAK Asset Management Software optimize time, budgets, resources and efficiency. Kodak Alaris offers a portfolio of protection plans that help maintain the performance of scanners for content management environments and other business-critical workflows. KODAK Service & Support for Document Imaging Solutions helps businesses protect their investment and generate added value from enhancements in operational efficiencies.

About Kodak Alaris
On September 3, 2013, the U.K. Kodak Pension Plan (KPP) completed its acquisition of the Kodak Document Imaging and Personalized Imaging businesses from Eastman Kodak Company and created a new company known as Kodak Alaris. The new company and its name preserve the heritage and legacy of the Kodak brand, while embodying the speed and agility to meet market needs and changes. Kodak Alaris, which is licensed to use the Kodak brand, will focus on strategic, ongoing investments for these businesses to ensure long-term growth and success. The Kodak trademark and trade dress are used under license from Eastman Kodak Company.

About Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging Division
Kodak Alaris’ Document Imaging solutions enable customers to capture and consolidate data from digital and paper sources, understand and extract valuable insight from the contents, and deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. Our offerings include award-winning scanners, capture and information management software, an expanding range of professional services and industry-leading service and support. With customers ranging from small offices to global operations, Kodak Alaris delivers superior systems and solutions to automate business processes, enhance customer interactions and enable better business decisions.

Government Efficiency at its worst

The Washington Post published an article this week, “Sinkhole of Bureaucracy” by David Fahrenhold.  This article talks about the cavern in PA where Office of Personnel Management process HR paperwork.  The costs are massive because the government has failed to create a computerized system to handle the paperwork.  Read the article here.

OPM CaveIn BOYERS, Pa. — The trucks full of paperwork come every day, turning off a country road north of Pittsburgh and descending through a gateway into the earth. Underground, they stop at a metal door decorated with an American flag.

Behind the door, a room opens up as big as a supermarket, full of five-drawer file cabinets and people in business casual. About 230 feet below the surface, there is easy-listening music playing at somebody’s desk.

This is one of the weirdest workplaces in the U.S. government — both for where it is and for what it does.

Here, inside the caverns of an old Pennsylvania limestone mine, there are 600 employees of the Office of Personnel Management. Their task is nothing top-secret. It is to process the retirement papers of the government’s own workers.

But that system has a spectacular flaw. It still must be done entirely by hand, and almost entirely on paper.

OY!

What you need to know about scanning charts

As you take your practice, clinic, or hospital paperless, you will be confronted with a number of questions about what to do with your existing paper charts and how exactly you go about scanning those medical charts that are the backbone of your business.medical symbol

  • Should you scan your charts?
  • Should you scan all the charts as well everything in each one?
  • Should you use a scanning service company, or do it in‐house?
  • How do you use the scanned charts with your EHR?

For the purposes of this article, let’s assume that the reader already understands all of your legal responsibilities relative to the retention schedule for your charts.

Charts should be kept a minimum of several years after a patient’s last visit. There are only two ways to preserve the charts ‐ store the paper or scan and convert to digital charts. You can store charts on‐site or with a reputable document storage company. It is very risky to store your charts at a self‐storage facility or worse yet, in your basement. A reputable facility will have fire suppression systems and protection from water. Self‐storage facilities go up in smoke regularly (Try a Google search for “self storage and fire”). Monsoon rains that strike the DC area yearly showed the vulnerability of basement storage.

There are 3 reasons why practices scan their charts.

  1. Clear the file room ‐ Clearing the file room lets you re‐purpose the space for new exam rooms. Storing paper on‐site costs money, when the space can be used by the practice to make money instead. Costs of storing on‐site include the actual rent for the floor space, and for payroll used to search and retrieve charts. If a chart is lost or misfiled, it is extremely difficult and expensive to locate. If files are stored in a document storage facility, there is a cost for storage and a cost for retrieval, as well as the cost for an employee to pick up the chart.
  2. HIPAA compliance ‐ Most file rooms are inherently not secure under HIPAA. A complete audit trail of who and when charts are accessed is possible with digital charts.  The enforcement arm for HIPAA has recently leveled multi‐million dollar fines against medical practices because they could not produce patient charts in a timely manner. Scanning will also make it easy and fast to comply with HIPAA requirements to produce a complete medical record within 30 days of a patient request. (See article, HIPAA Bares Its Teeth: $4.3m Fine for Privacy Violation)
  3. Improved Patient Outcome ‐ The evidence is clear that EMR adoption improves patient outcomes. There are many reasons why, but giving doctors the ability to quickly review and share digital charts with other medical professionals is certainly a key reason. Once your charts are digital, they can be accessed securely and remotely via tablets or iPad, or even from your smart phone.

Should you scan all the charts, and everything in each chart?

There are a variety of considerations including medical necessity, legal, and cost.

If you have been properly purging charts as they become eligible for destruction, then yes, you should scan all of your charts. Your electronic charts are to be treated just like the paper charts from a retention perspective. If you have been holding on to all of your charts, then you will likely be able to purge everything outside of the retention period, and only scan the newer charts.

Each practice is different, and each physician will make the determination of what is medically necessary to scan, and what can be destroyed via shredding. At minimum, all records that reflect the clinical care provided to a patient, including provider notes, nurses’ notes, testing, and medical lists should be kept. Billing records that reference care provided should also be scanned and preserved along with the rest of the medical record.

Legally, you must consider what would be necessary to keep in order to properly defend yourself in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Some practices will scan the entire chart, and every scrap of paper in it, while others are quite comfortable just scanning what is absolutely legally and medical necessary.

Minimizing Scanning Costs

Maintaining medical records in any format will cause you to incur some cost. Scanning yourself or hiring an outside scanning service company, you will need to consider the costs of scanning. The costs are variable. For example, charts can be scanned and OCR’d (optical character recognition), meaning they can be made searchable. In many instances, it is not necessary to OCR a chart because there is no typewritten text that is worth searching. Or the chart may be so small that it is very easy to simply browse the PDF. You likely don’t need to pay for OCR. Another way to cut costs is to make sure carbon copies of labs and other forms are destroyed and not scanned.

I am often asked, “Why should I scan with your service when I have people here who can scan for me?”

It’s an excellent question. If you are to undertake the scanning project in house, you will need a few things. Secure office space where a scanner and a computer can be set up, a 4‐6 foot table where the charts can be prepared for scanning, and 1 or more people dedicated to the project. The process is fairly simple.

  1. Charts must be prepared so the paper can be put through an automatic document feeder. Paper must be removed from the chart itself, and each staple or other binding device must be removed. (A single missed staple can ruin scanner glass, costing $50 to replace)
  2. Charts are put through the scanner. The main issues that your scanner operator will contend with are multi‐feeds and re‐scans. A multi‐feed occurs when 2 or more sheets of paper are pulled through the scanner at one time. The scanner operator must stop and rescan those pages. If any dust or other particulates are on the scanner glass, it will cause a black streak to appear on the scanned image, and the page must be rescanned after cleaning the scanner.
  3. Index the charts by adding identifying information. Typically, the chart indexing person will view the chart on the computer screen after it has been scanned, and then they will type information such as <Last Name>, <First Name>, and <Date of Birth>. Different practices have different naming conventions. Indexing will be used to name the file. For example, Doe, Jane 8‐5‐1966.PDF
  4. Quality Assurance is performed before the charts are actually converted to a PDF. There are many ways to achieve high quality, and many standards of quality. Generally, a chart will pass quality control after every page has been visually inspected for image quality, image orientation, proper cropping, and completeness of the file.
  5. Charts can now be output to PDF and the process is complete. A single banker’s box of records will typically take 3‐4 hours to process if your employee is working hard on the project.

The other choice is to select a document scanning service company.

The process is the same as above, except the work is generally performed off‐site in a secure facility. A scanning service company provides the following benefits to their clients:

  • Quality will be guaranteed.
  • No investment in your own scanning hardware, computers, or software. No internal labor costs.
  • Costs are generally going to be lower than performing the work yourself since a scanning service company is optimized to scan very efficiently.
  • Errors will be minimized, and any errors will be resolved with no additional cost to the practice.
  • Scanning can be done faster since a scanning service company will have multiple large, high‐speed scanners.

After scanning, you can use them with your EMR.

Some practices will simply put the charts on the Windows File System so that they can be viewed when needed. Others will import some or all of the charts into the “Notes” or “History” tabs in the EMR. The most common strategy is to save the charts to the file system, and only import the chart into the EMR the next time the patient comes for an appointment.

Visualize an empty file room, with no employees pulling charts, filing charts, looking for loose pages and lost charts.

 

“Disaster Preparation” is not just for hurricanes and tornadoes.

From our guest blogger, David McDonough, President of Modern Image Atlanta:  “Disaster Preparation” is not just for hurricanes and tornadoes.

How did the weather impact your business last week? Were you prepared to be out of the office for several days? The entire country watched in shock as Atlanta came to a halt over a few inches of snow and ice. Thousands of people spent hours, if not overnight, stuck in traffic. The remainder of the week was equally as disruptive as authorities cleared roads, reopened schools and businesses and tried to get back to ‘normal’. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the ice storm and gridlock that crippled metro Atlanta will likely cost businesses and individuals in the hundreds of millions – if not billions – of dollars, based on economic models and past events.

How many days did you miss from work? What will it cost you? It doesn’t have to be that way!

A paperless office environment with electronic files and remote work capabilities can prevent you from this type of disruption in the future. Files scanned to a secure cloud environment can be accessed anywhere, at any time, allowing collaborative work from remote locations. Don’t be caught unprepared in the future. Let us help you plan for disruptions so that you can be productive, no matter the circumstances.

 

Traffic is snarled along the Interstate 285 perimeter north of the Atlanta metro area after a winter snowstorm Jan. 29, 2014, in this aerial photo.  AP PHOTO/DAVID TULIS

Traffic is snarled along the Interstate 285 perimeter north of the Atlanta metro area after a winter snowstorm Jan. 29, 2014, in this aerial photo. AP PHOTO/DAVID TULIS

2015 World Police and Fire Games in Fairfax County Virginia

Fairfax 2015

Here in Modern Image’s backyard of Fairfax County Games by the Numbers:Virginia, we will be holding the 2015 World Police and Fire Games.  We are supporting the games by donating scanning services to be auctioned and by assisting event organizers in recruiting local and national corporate sponsors.

World Police and Fire Games by the numbers

 

12,000 professional, public safety athletes from 70 countries on 6 continents competing in 61 sports to qualify for over 1,600 medal events.  This is a chance for Fairfax residents and businesses to show our appreciation for our First Responders.

If you or your company would like to become a World Police and Fire Games Sponsor, please contact Andy Reiman at andy@modernimageusa.com.

National Archives – 100 Milestone Documents

While a lot of attention has been focused on a certain government website lately, you may not have seen http://www.ourdocuments.gov.  Our Documents – 100 Milestone Documents contains the list of documents plus a link to each documents’ texts and original scans.  You can immerse yourself for hours.  “These documents reflect our diversity and our unity, our past and our future, and mostly our commitment as a nation to continue to strive to “form a more perfect union.”  The documents also represent excellence in document digitization. Continue reading “National Archives – 100 Milestone Documents” »