Michael Burgoyne, National Healthcare Sales Lead at Ricoh Canada answers questions on digital health trends, the unfulfilled promise of CPOE, and how hospitals should avoid treating digital health as an all-or-nothing proposition.

  1. How long have you been working in healthcare?

I’ve worked as a healthcare solutions sales strategist since the merging IKON / Ricoh organization formalized its approach to Healthcare in 2008. At that time, we evaluated our approach and adapted Ricoh’s strategy and solutions portfolio to meet the complex and changing IT needs of the healthcare industry, including improved EMR integration and strengthening our value creation framework to enable HDOs to re-engineer and transform how they deliver sustainable quality patient care.

  1. What are you hearing about the unfulfilled promise of CPOE across Canada?

Hospitals and Health Authorities in several jurisdictions continue to share challenges in securing funding to deploy Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE). This has resulted in hospital pharmacies struggling with fax and other paper burdened processes. These somewhat primitive workflows lead to communication and turnaround inefficiencies, lack of transparency in the medication order approval process, lack of reporting and audit metrics, and a general risk to patient safety. Fortunately, there are relatively inexpensive Paperless Pharmacy Order Management (PPOM) solutions out there that easily bridge the gap to CPOE and help meet increasing compliance requirements.

  1. What trends you are seeing in hospitals today as they attempt to move towards more efficient, digitized workflows?

There are varying degrees of Federally and Provincially funded initiatives toward advanced use of data heavy EMRs, jurisdictional EHR viewers, stronger “connected care” solutions that deal with paper based workflows (e.g. physician orders / referrals) and the capture of unstructured content like paper, faxes, and photo images. Unfortunately, funding lags intent, value realization is tricky, and project lists are long, so the key is to consider paperless maturity a journey, not a destination. Leveraging the experience of a trusted partner to systemically mine paper based inefficiencies out of clinical and back office processes is a key to success in Continuous Improvement initiatives.

  1. How would you suggest healthcare organizations tackle their transition to digital health?

The key is to recognize that the road to digital health is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Rather than wait for slow moving, provincially mandated initiatives, hospitals can focus on automating specific work flows. These less expensive, less invasive digital quick wins can support efficiency improvements and improved patient safety without requiring significant IT resources or breaking the bank. As a paper-digital hybrid model is typical, healthcare organizations will also need to ensure reasonable safeguards are in place to mitigate risk of PHI and other sensitive information breach.

  1. What projects have you worked on that have helped bridge the gap from paperless to digital in healthcare?

I’m proud to be involved in projects that deliver measured value to hospital organizations, from automating Rx order management in Ontario hospital pharmacies, to the elimination of administrative, approval based paper flows in IT and Accounts Payable, to moving an entire back office hospital campus to a paperless hotelling environment in under a year. We’re also starting to see an increase in medical record digitization in Canada, from backfile scanning to day forward (post discharge) scanning, to questions around point of service scanning for advanced EMRAM achievement. We will continue to support these projects by leveraging data capture experience across many of our nearly 2,000 hospital customers, and by providing solutions designed with evolving healthcare standards in mind.


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