Xerox Healthcare Solutions Ease Some of the Pain

Providers looked for help with automation, digital transformation, and other challenges

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11/30/2021

Jamie Bsales

 

What do you do if you are a hospital network that serves more than a million patients a year and suddenly find yourself faced with pandemic-induced restrictions on who can and cannot be onsite, with the added complication of paper files that date back decades?

 

If you’re Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (ICH), a five-hospital network serving London and its environs, you ring your Xerox rep for a lifeline. During the first months of the pandemic, Xerox reports that it helped ICH and other customers digitize hundreds of thousands of patient records to make them accessible for newly remote administrative and patient-care staff. We had an exclusive briefing with key Xerox stakeholders who oversee the company’s offerings for the healthcare vertical, and they provided concrete examples of solutions Xerox was able to put in place to help customers adapt and streamline systems to help them weather the pandemic and beyond.

 

In the case of ICH, a primary challenge even before the pandemic was the transformation of legacy paper-based files to electronic records to enable multiple people to access records and reduce management costs. The hospital network had three-quarters of a hospital floor occupied by filing cabinets—space that clearly could have been better utilized for patient care—and 113 people in the department to pull paper records. The solution ultimately adopted by ICH was the Xerox Health Records Automation Service, an end-to-end offering that organizes, scans, and stores patient records in a centralized repository (in this case, Cerner EPR).

 

The benefits were apparent from the outset. The solution provides tools that speed up searching and managing patient data, reducing delays for doctors and nurses who might need the critical information and leaving more time for providers to focus on patients. Having electronic records also opened up the world of flexible online health appointments, since the caregiver was no longer tied to the physical location where a paper record could be retrieved and viewed. In addition, the system improved the security of those records and ensured the files are backed up—something that was sorely lacking with the paper files that could be misplaced or destroyed by fire or flood. Moreover, ICH estimates that it has saved nearly £10 million (almost $13 million USD) through administrative efficiencies, and reports that it was able to reassign about 100 staff members from pulling records to other roles in the organization.

 

ICH did not stop there. In the aftermath of the pandemic, ICH turned to Xerox to handle room bookings for in-person appointments, which was accomplished using a custom-built Xerox mobile booking app. That same app is also used to help enable a safe return to work for ICH employees to reserve socially distanced desks for specific dates and times. Xerox has also rolled out an electronic vaccine management program that can be used to track not only COVID vaccinations, but flu and other vaccines, as well.

 

Another illustrative case study Xerox shared in our briefing was its work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The agency was looking to implement a more efficient patient-notification solution to schedule and confirm appointments on a very large scale: on the order of 2.5 million notifications per month. The VA also wanted to eliminate confusion by managing appointments across multiple specialties to keep patients informed on when and where to show up for their various appointments.

 

The VA was able to improve the look (and, hence, effectiveness) of its mailers thanks to eye-catching XMPie document templates.

 

To solve these challenges, the VA and Xerox worked together to increase the impact of printed notifications sent to patients by using the Xerox XMPie multichannel marketing and variable data printing suite to create personalized reminder cards unique to each patient. Eye-catching document templates for mailers were designed, and personalized data is applied dynamically at the printing stage. Printing happens at six VA Regional Print Centers, each producing between 80,000 to 1 million personalized reminders a month.

 

The closed-loop process ensures patient confidentiality and gives VA personnel visibility into the status and success rate of the mailings. The result: missed appointments have decreased by 21%, and the agency saves more than $2 million per year in postage because the redesigned notices allow the VA to take advantage of lower postage rates. And since XMPie is a true multichannel platform, the VA is ready for a smooth transition to email and SMS campaigns for veterans that prefer to receive communications through those channels.

 

These are just two among many case studies that show how Xerox and other OEMs are solving customer challenges in the real world. Clearly, our industry is at the heart of digital transformation initiatives and has the ability and expertise to solve problems beyond print.

 

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