BC Biomedical benefits from better information management—thanks to Laserfiche

By Hobey Echlin

One team, one vision, advancing health.”

That’s BC Biomedical’s motto. And since implementing Laserfiche four years ago to manage its sprawling information network spread out over 47 patient service centers (PSCs), you can add “embracing technology” to its motto.

Headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia’s second-largest city, BC Biomedical (BCB) has been privately owned and operated by laboratory physicians since Dr. C.J. Coady founded it 50 years ago. In its half-century of existence, BCB has grown to comprise more than 40 leading practitioners in all disciplines of laboratory medicine. BCB’s pathologists are among Canada’s top practitioners in their fields, and their model for health care and community service is recognized and respected worldwide.

laserfiche reasons BCB’s service centers rely on Laserfiche to manage a broad range of documents, explains Business Systems Analyst/Project Manager Chris Fiorucci . “We have more than 700 employees, administer 440 types of tests, and see about 6,000 to 8,000 patients daily, so we desperately needed a document management system that would enable us to store and retrieve vital patient information instantly and across our multiple centers,” she says. “Laserfiche is our lifeline.”

Because Fiorucci has worked with BC Biomedical for 38 years, she knew how important a strong family feel is to her organization. BCB, in fact, has been voted one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers for seven consecutive years according to Hewitt Associates Annual Study. So when BCB first looked into Laserfiche, they knew they’d discovered an organization with values that mirrored their own. “We pride ourselves on our commitment to our patients and community,” she explains. “Laserfiche shares our core values. Their community focus and strong software product are a winning combination.”

But if BCB’s great to work for, it’s also great to be one of its patients. BCB’s commitment to its patients is embodied in its core values of delivering quality service, maintaining professional and ethical business practices, and being responsible and accountable for actions. “Above all, we’re dedicated to providing diagnostic health care of the highest quality to our patients. We respect each other and work together effectively and relentlessly to constantly improve. Laserfiche is in line with our goals, and with 47 patient PSCs, we rely on Laserfiche to sustain operational efficiency and flexibility,” Fiorucci explains.

laserfiche quote BCB made its name developing timely, meaningful diagnostic information for physicians and responding to patient needs for laboratory services. As services spread across British Columbia, that benchmark of the BCB brand became more and more challenging to maintain. Pre-Laserfiche, an office would receive one patient requisition form at a time that then needed to be physically stored at the PSC for three months before being sent to offsite storage for at least another six years. “The paper trail was huge, and the storage costs came to a pretty penny,” Fiorucci says.

BCB’s goals were to decrease photocopying, eliminate off-site storage, automate printing of requisitions for send-out tests, reduce costs and improve efficiencies, while adhering to the Canadian Medical Services Commission’s (MSC) Electronic Storage of Requisitions—all of which and then some have been met since implementing Laserfiche in 2004.

The main Surrey office uses an area setup exclusively for three scanning clerks to onboard the approximately 10,000 patient requisitions delivered daily. “We no longer need to photocopy requisitions,” Fiorucci says. “With access to the on-line patient requisition repository using WebLink, we’re truly paperless.”

The Surrey office houses human resources, finance, and business account teams for non-medical testing. “With so many PSCs and branches, Laserfiche is essential for our internal communication and business continuity,” remarks Fiorucci.

And besides improving communication, BCB eliminated more than 25 hours a day spent filing original documentation, retrieving information and re-filing, and faxing or mailing documents—not to mention all the time wasted trying to find misplaced documents.

“The old way of doing things around here was extremely time-consuming and ineffective, especially when you would get phone requests for additional information. It definitely took staff time away from our patients,” Fiorucci says. “We now have a total turnaround time of four hours because Laserfiche has helped us multitask across several departments. I cannot stress enough how reliable, fast and easy the system is. Laserfiche has impacted our entire organization in a positive manner.”

More recently, BCB was the first user to implement the beta version of Laserfiche Bar Code 2-D. Now, after a patient request is received, staff use the lab information system to print out bar code labels containing PSC information such as the request number, patient’s first and last name, personal health number (PHN) and service date. Patient and barcode labels are placed on the patient’s requisition and a scanning clerk then picks up all requisitions for scanning.

In order to automate work processes even further, BCB’s developers were able to take the request number scanned into Laserfiche and look up the patient request number in the lab information system to determine if any of the tests ordered needed to be sent to a different testing facility. “If they do, another program runs to retrieve the image from Laserfiche and prints it on a printer in central processing,” Fiorucci says. “This was definitely a win-win situation for all of us.”

Additionally, departments can now view patient requisitions online, which streamlines procedures such as phoning the PSC for test confirmation of doctor information and diagnosis. “As a seasoned BCB employee I can tell you that life after Laserfiche is greatly simplified!” Fiorucci says. “Now that we’ve improved office efficiency, we can focus on our goal of advancing health one patient at a time.

“Implementing Laserfiche was the best decision we ever made,” she adds. “We’ve reduced wasted office space required to store forms, saved time retrieving documents, saved money storing documents offsite, and more importantly streamlined our workflow processes enterprise-wide.”

Source: Laserfiche