St. Vincent's Hospital selects Adobe Enterprise Solutions to streamline document processes

San Jose 12 May 2003St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, has selected the full suite of Adobe's document integration solutions to further improve patient care and streamline operations by automating the delivery of up to 27 document processes over the course of the next two years. Founded in 1982, Adobe Systems Incorporated is specialised in network publishing and offers a comprehensive line of software for enterprise and creative professional customers. Its products enable customers to create, manage and deliver visually rich, compelling and reliable content.


St. Vincent's Hospital, a member of Ascension Health, sees approximately 125.000 outpatients, 17.000 inpatients and more than 28.000 people in its emergency room each year. The hospital is at the forefront of technology adoption in health care with an electronic clinical documentation system to support patient charting, an electronic medical record system, bar code scanning of patient medications, a wireless network that gives doctors and nurses instant access to patient records, and digital work flows for managing x-ray information in the Radiology Department.

The Adobe document integration solution will augment these services with the initial deployment focused on patient interactions, such as patient registration and admission and consent form completion. Later solutions will help streamline numerous document functions, such as clinical forms.

"The addition of Adobe's document integration solutions builds on St. Vincent's continued commitment to provide our patients with the best possible care and service, at the same time lowering our administrative costs", stated Tim Stettheimer, Ph.D., vice president and chief information officer at St. Vincent's Hospital. "We selected Adobe's solutions because of its ability to connect data and document processes, support complex diagrams on forms such as anatomical charts and integrate with digital signature technology."

The first two solutions will focus on facilitating improved patient interactions. With Adobe-powered electronic consent forms, St. Vincent's Hospital will enable patients to electronically sign for procedures such as surgery or blood transfusions using a tablet PC from their hospital beds. The completed forms will be routed to the records management system, with data stored in the Oracle database, and the form archived in the hospital's archival system.

With the electronic registration and admission solution, the hospital will be better able to minimise the number of times a patient provides information. The solution will help generate the proper registration forms automatically, and take XML data and pre-populate these forms with repetitive information, such as name and address, that correspond to each patient's situation. Rather than repeatedly requesting basic information, such as allergies and lists of current medications, to different groups within the hospital, nurses and physicians may access that information automatically. While St. Vincent's will still require medical staff to verify details with patients, the new work flow solution will provide for a more efficient and professional interaction.

The hospital also is planning to extend its document processes to physician offices, allowing physicians to complete standard admitting forms with information about patient conditions, treatments and special circumstances on-line before a patient arrives at the hospital. Currently, these processes are handled by facsimile, a time-consuming process that creates delays since hospital staff has to re-key information into systems, and confirm data with remote physicians.

Leslie Versweyveld

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