HealthEssentials' Clinicians To Use Digital Pens - InformationWeek

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HealthEssentials' Clinicians To Use Digital Pens

The Anoto Group and ExpeData digital pen and paper technology allows healthcare providers to document, store, and send patient data electronically.

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While the push is on for U.S. doctors to trade in their paper charts for electronic patient records, some healthcare providers are taking their paper and pens with them as they transition to a more digitized care processes.

HealthEssentials, which operates home health and hospice care organizations in California and Nevada, is rolling out digital pen and paper technology to its clinicians, including doctors and nurse practitioners, as well as health aides, social workers, and chaplains.

The digital pen and paper technology, from Anoto Group and ExpeData, is being used by HealthEssential clinicians and care providers in the field to replace the traditional pen and paper forms used to record patient information while caring for patients.

HealthEssentials is rolling out an electronic medical record system that will capture and contain the patient information created by workers using the digital pen and paper technology. Patient information will be stored as a PDF version of the paper form, but data will also be converted to text from fields on the paper forms.

During subsequent phases of the project, that text data will be collected into a centralized database, so that HealthEssential managers can run reports, track patient care trends, and glean other clinical insights, said Stacey Rodillon, project manager.

The paper forms used with the digital pens to collect data look similar to the traditional paper forms used by HealthEssential clinicians and field workers, said Rodillion. However, tiny dots printed on the forms help map information that’s recorded by the digital pens as users write.

The pens also write in ink as handwritten information is recorded on the paper forms and stored on a chip inside the pens. Data is submitted from a worker's digital pen to a HealthEssential central server via Bluetooth technology and the field worker’s BlackBerry, said Rodillon.

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