IBM > Case Studies > Digitizing Patient Records: A Leap in Cancer Treatment and Research

Digitizing Patient Records: A Leap in Cancer Treatment and Research

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Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP)
Applicable Industries
  • Healthcare & Hospitals
  • Paper & Pulp
Applicable Functions
  • Product Research & Development
Use Cases
  • Inventory Management
  • Time Sensitive Networking
The Challenge
The cancer treatment and research center was facing a significant challenge in managing and accessing its vast volumes of patient data, which were primarily in paper format. The institution's unique approach to treating patients as a whole, rather than a series of isolated maladies, resulted in extensive patient medical records. The sheer volume of these paper records often made it difficult for clinicians and researchers to rapidly and reliably access the information they required. This situation was negatively impacting productivity and causing delays. Furthermore, the practice of 'checking out' medical records for research purposes often left clinical teams without immediate access to these records, especially in cases of unexpected patient visits. The center needed a more effective way to work with patient information that would enhance the delivery of prompt diagnosis and treatment, and accelerate the progress of vital research work.
About The Customer
The customer in this case study is a cancer treatment and research center dedicated to providing exceptional patient care, innovative research, and outstanding educational programs. The center's unique approach to patient care involves treating patients as a whole, rather than a series of isolated maladies. This approach results in extensive patient medical records. The center also has a dual focus on patient care and clinical research, with researchers often needing to access patient records for their work. The center's commitment to driving top-quality care and research necessitates fast insight into huge volumes of patient data.
The Solution
The institution decided to digitize its patient records, transforming its paper-based records into a rich store of electronic patient data. Using IBM FileNet® Content Manager and IBM Content Navigator software, the center was able to provide teams with instant, anytime access to information. The digitization of patients’ medical records eliminated the need for staff to spend valuable time hunting down paper files, and allowed multiple people to access the same information concurrently. This access to a secure, central repository of digital content significantly boosted productivity. The move to electronic content also opened up exciting opportunities for new cognitive computing initiatives at the cancer treatment and research center. In the future, the institute plans to take advantage of IBM Watson™ for Oncology, which combines patient data, clinical expertise, and research to support targeted cancer treatment and research.
Operational Impact
  • The digitization of patient records has had a profound impact on the operations of the cancer treatment and research center. Medical teams now have near-instant insight into each patient and their history of treatment, enabling them to get the answers they need more rapidly and thus provide better care. Researchers can more readily unlock new insights from the institution’s huge volumes of information. The center can now get critical patient information into the hands of the people who need it faster than ever before, supporting doctors and nurses in delivering the best quality care. It also helps to accelerate the pace of vital cancer research work, potentially helping scientists to make breakthroughs faster. The move to electronic content has also opened up exciting opportunities for new cognitive computing initiatives at the center.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Decades of patient data can now be easily accessed and analyzed for new insights
  • Potential for cancer research breakthroughs has been enhanced
  • Productivity has been significantly boosted, helping clinicians deliver better patient care

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