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Veterinary Specialty Hospital Heals the Paper Dragon with Document Management Solution

In February 1997, Drs. Kevin Concannon, Gary Spodnick and Jerry Waddle, founded Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas (VSH) in Cary, NC. VSH fulfills a need in the Triangle area by providing veterinary multi-specialty referral, emergency and critical care for any hour of the day, 24/7/365. They have specialists in surgery, anesthesia, internal medicine, oncology, and dentistry. The specialists see sick or injured patients by referral during the weekdays, while on nights, weekends, and holidays the emergency veterinarians see sick or injured patients.

The majority of the hospital patients are dogs and cats, but VSH occasionally treats "pocket" pets such as ferrets, gerbils and rabbits. They have a great team of 13 doctors and 57 support staff that have a good reputation in the veterinary community for being responsive and available for specialty, emergency and critical care, treating about 10,000 patients per year.

The Need

The hospital originally managed and stored files using filing cabinets that required a great deal of storage space in the hospital and offsite. The Veterinary Medical Board requires veterinary hospitals to maintain legally defensible patient records for three years after the patient's last visit. The hospital had purchased a veterinary practice management software to help manage their patient records, but knew this was not enough. With the document management background of Pam Stevenson, Practice Manager, VSH understood that they would need a document management system to successfully manage their computerized medical records and store legally defensible documents.

VSH searched for a document management solution that would fit their needs. They chose Triangle Solutions Technology, LLC to install and provide support for File Magic document management software by Westbrook Technologies. Stevenson states, "Our number one determining factor in choosing Triangle Solutions Technology was their knowledge and experience with medical images, DICOM files and medical record keeping requirements/needs. Hal and Tim were extremely knowledgeable and patient with us and our many questions. They addressed every concern we had and made sure that we had the right products (hardware and software). They were professional, friendly, and easy to work with. They obviously know the industry and their products."

The Solution

The features of File Magic that stood out to VSH included access capabilities, thumbnail view option, and previewing documents while scanning. One of their employees serves as the administrator of the system and is responsible for setting up users, assigning their privileges and capturing the patient records in the system. Currently in transition, VSH is transferring their patient information into the File Magic database using their scanner, that scans both in color and in black and white. The scanner scans their color-highlighted intensive care flow sheets, which creates a legally defensible electronic document showing the work done by the veterinary nurse as the doctor prescribed.

This system also allows VSH to be prepared for disaster recovery. The database server manages all their electronic files, which is backed up to an optical jukebox. This information is also backed up onto a tape drive, which is stored offsite.

The Benefits

The foremost benefit of using File Magic is that patient records are available to any user in the hospital or offsite through pcAnywhere™. Stevenson states that, "We have found multiple uses for the scanner and File Magic export functions. We have made PDF files of other types of documents and are learning new uses for the system each month. We also added a fax server to our collection and can fax records or images to referring veterinarians or clients." This function is made possible directly from the document management system so it can be handled electronically, saving time and money.

VSH calculated that in their five years of service they had amassed $22,000 worth of paper files (medical records only) before converting to this paperless system. Since they are decreasing the number of paper files, VSH is already realizing the savings that was previously spent on paper files, filing equipment, and office and offsite storage space. There is also a labor savings in the time spent filing, retrieving, storing and searching for lost files. The document management system will provide a good return on their investment that will help them for years to come.

The File Magic document management system gives VSH the flexibility needed to manage their documents as they expand and move to their larger facility in 2003. Growing and expanding the system will realize additional savings as VSH plans to use the File Magic system to:

  • receive all their faxes which amount to hundreds of pages each day
  • store and manage computed radiography images
  • store and manage payroll and employee records

File Magic enhances business performance and translates into cost savings and a significant return on investment. Stevenson adds, "Tim, Hal, and Triangle Solutions Technology have been extremely responsive to our needs and conscientious as a company. We look forward to many years of working together."

About Triangle Solutions Technology, LLC

Since 2006, Triangle Solutions Technology, LLC, of Angier, North Carolina, has been a professional one-stop product, service and solution provider in electronic document management, scanning and imaging. The company assists its clients in identifying, acquiring, implementing, and utilizing products and services to more effectively support their needs and operations.

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