AZ Delta is one of the largest hospitals in Belgium with over 1.200 beds, 3.150 employees and 240 active doctors on staff. True to its reputation as a leader in the healthcare field, the hospital’s primary goal is to provide the best possible care for its patients.
It is with this objective in mind that AZ Delta chose iGuana’s Document Management Solution to digitize their patient medical records and manage healthcare administration documents. The solution allows the hospital to reduce document storage and retrieval costs and free up considerable time for physicians and non-medical staff to focus on what matters most – the well-being of their patients.
AZ Delta – a Hospital with a Human Face
“We want to be a model for quality healthcare,” Bjorn Devuyst, AZ Delta’s Chief Archivist, explains. Bjorn is in charge of AZ Delta’s medical records archive containing millions of documents and the hospital’s digitization projects.
“Our patients really matter. Although we are a big hospital, our patients will always be our central focal point around which everything revolves. This is true for doctors, administration personnel and IT,” he adds.
It is no surprize that AZ Delta greets its patients with a warm personal message: “Welkom in uw ziekenhuis” which, translated from Dutch, means “Welcome to Your Hospital”.
iGuana’s Solution Earns Medical Staff’s Trust
AZ Delta’s IT minded management team has always been open to initiatives that could help the hospital become better and more efficient at providing quality healthcare services.
Saving doctors, nurses and secretaries valuable time to take care of patients was one of such initiatives back in 2011 when the hospital implemented iGuana’s iDM solution. The solution allowed AZ Delta to convert patient medical records into digital format, create an electronic medical record (EMR) for each patient and make it very easy for clinical staff to retrieve patient data.
“We realized that our physical archive is simply too difficult and costly to use. We are a modern hospital, we have highly qualified personnel, forward-looking IT– why not work smarter, go digital?” says Bjorn.
“For doctors patients come first,” he continues. “We explained to our physicians the advantage of being able to access key patient data electronically, since they already use laptops, PCs, iPads, etc. We showed them a short demo of Medical Viewer, how they could easily search for their patients and quickly find what they are looking for. The system was very well received, a few early adopters started actively using it and the news spread very quickly.”
Today, all medical staff at AZ Delta are using Medical Viewer to access and manage patient EMRs. As Bjorn explains, “the system is easy to use, fast, and it also looks good, which is important”. He compares iGuana to Apple whose products are known to look slick, finished and visually attractive.
A Modern Archive for a Modern Hospital
AZ Delta strives to be a modern hospital and that vision implies having a modern, digital archive. Considering its current size, there are still many patient files that exist in paper format and that need to be scanned, indexed and archived into iGuana iDM.
AZ Delta plans to finish digitizing their entire archive within a few years’ time and has already outsourced a small portion of the project to iGuana ScanFactory, where nearly 300.000 patient documents were indexed by ScanFactory personnel.
Successful completion of the digital archive project is one of the key priorities for the hospital. Bjorn and his team take their job seriously and are currently actively working on setting up a new, more efficient central scanning station that will utilize specialized Kodak scanners provided by iGuana. AZ Delta also goes the extra mile to employ disabled persons through the Pas Par Toe programme to perform simple jobs, such as preparing documents for scanning (removing paper clips and staples, checking barcode labels, etc.).
The result of their efforts is that today few patient records in paper format enter a doctor’s office. The idea is that if a doctor requests a patient file that has not yet been digitized, it should be retrieved from the physical archive and scanned immediately, so that the doctor accesses its electronic version.
“We do not want to produce any more paper,” Bjorn explains. “We realize that we cannot get rid of paper completely but we try to minimize its use as much as possible. We advise our staff: if the document is already in the system, do not print it. We also immediately scan and archive any new paper documents that are inevitably produced during the course of our day-to-day work.”
Document Management for the Entire Hospital
At the beginning of 2015 AZ Delta went live with the iGuana iDM Document Management Solution for Healthcare Administration to address the needs of non-medical staff. Together, iGuana iDM and Medical Viewer cover all aspects of the hospital’s daily document-intensive processes, medical and administration related.
“After many years of productive and smooth relationship with iGuana we knew that we could count on them to deliver an end package customized to our needs”, Bjorn explains. “Now we have one system, single look, single style, easy to use.”
Considering that AZ Delta is aiming to go paperless in just a few years, extending iGuana’s solutions to the entire hospital made practical and financial sense. In addition, the hospital considers it a major advantage that staff are using one system that they are all comfortable and familiar with. It is easier for colleagues to exchange ideas and feel confident that whichever department they currently work in or may work in sometime in the future, they will always know how to use the critical system at their disposal.
What is very important for us,” Bjorn adds, “is that behind the very simple and clean user interface there is a really powerful, intelligent system that we can do a lot with.”
About AZ Delta
On January 1st 2015 two hospitals – H.-Hartziekenhuis Roeselare-Menen and Stedelijk Ziekenhuis Roeselare merged to form AZ Delta. Today, AZ Delta is the largest employer in the region with 3.150 employees and 240 active doctors on staff. The hospital comprises four campuses and 1.213 beds with 50.000 surgeries performed and 70.000 patients admitted for day hospitalization annually. AZ Delta’s mission is to make a real difference and lead in quality patient care, as their name (derived from Greek) suggests.