Case Study

Document Scanners Onboard Ambulances Help Valley Health Quickly Share Medical Information

Ambulance

Valley Health is a nonprofit organization providing healthcare to people in and around an area known as the Top of Virginia, as well as parts of West Virginia and Maryland. Valley Health operates six hospitals in the geographic area, providing nearly 600 inpatient beds and more than 100 long term care beds. On a yearly basis, Valley Health averages more than 30,000 inpatient admissions and more than 140,000 emergency room visits, with total outpatient encounters numbered around 800,000. The organization employs more than 5,000 people and has a medical staff of more than 500 professionals.

Part of the organization is Valley Medical Transportation. Within the nonprofit organization, Valley Medical Transportation is a for-profit service providing licensed ambulance and other medical transportation to patients within the area, handling more than 23,000 calls per year.

Gary Dalton, Program Manager for Valley Medical Transportation, explained the service transports people to Valley Health’s facilities and other healthcare providers as well. “While we provide 911 emergency services, the majority of our calls are for commercial non-emergency ambulance services, including transportation for patients being discharged, traveling to high-level specialist healthcare providers, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities.

Dalton explained the service transports people to Valley Health’s facilities and other healthcare providers as well. “While we provide 911 emergency services, the majority of our calls are for commercial non-emergency ambulance services, including transportation for patients being discharged, traveling to high-level specialist healthcare providers, rehabilitation and skilled nursing facilities.

“No matter the service, it is essential for our EMTs to capture and transmit critical patient information. First and foremost, we generate a Face Sheet which provides demographic information including date of birth and physician’s name. Next is a Certification Document which includes a documented need to go by ambulance, diagnosis, patient destination, insurance, and billing information — private, Medicare, and Medicaid — and obtain patient signatures. Furthermore, EMTs need to capture written doctor orders, prescriptions, and protocols. The information is shared with healthcare provider Electronic Health Record systems (EHRs), state regulators, and the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS).”

As Valley Medical Transportation operates in three states, it needs to meet EMS reporting requirements established by each state. NEMSIS is a national repository storing EMS data from every state in the nation with ultimate goals of improving patient outcomes, standardizing EMS procedures, and supporting EMT training. NEMSIS was established by the National Association of State EMS Directors, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Trauma/EMS Systems program of the Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Maternal Child Health Bureau.

“A NEMSIS requirement is for EMS providers to go totally paperless in two years,” Dalton said. “To that point, we have document scanners in all of our ambulances.”

Valley Medical Transportation has installed Ambir TravelScan Pro 600ix simplex document and card scanners in its ambulances. “We looked at a number of different scanners. We chose the Ambir TravelScan Pro 600ix for its compact size, ability to handle documents and ID cards, plug-and-play capability with all laptops while requiring no calibration, scanning speed, image quality, ease of operation, and cost,” Dalton said.

Dalton noted EMTs can scan paper- and card-based information in PDF format in five to 10 seconds. EMTs submit the scanned information via encrypted internet connection into healthcare provider and hospital EHRs while in transit, getting critical information to healthcare providers quickly and eliminating the need to scan patient information at the end of shifts.

“Scanning and transmitting critical patient information in real time, ease of operation and pre-set consistent image quality levels with any and all laptops used by our EMTs makes a difference in improving patient outcomes and EMT satisfaction,” Dalton said. “As we handle more than 23,000 calls per year and average scanning and transmitting three documents per call, we need a scanner that is quick, seamless to use, and efficient. The Ambir Travel Pro 600ix gives us that.”

About Ambir Technology
Ambir Technology, Inc. is an industry leader in digital capture and document management solutions. Combining professional-grade ID card and document scanners, unique digital imaging software and expert-level customer service, Ambir provides their customers with comprehensive, enterprise-level business solutions. Specializing in the healthcare, legal and financial sectors, Ambir helps organizations reduce costs, increase productivity and strengthen data security. For more information, visit www.ambir.com.