UNIMED maintains volumes of documents including medical records, hospital charts, doctor statements and more. In Brazil, the original document cannot leave the office of origin, so copies of patient records and bills are sent back and forth between offices for processing every 15 days. This exponentially increased the number of documents UNIMED maintained and resulted in multiple copies of the same information at several different locations.
When a patient visits an in-network UNIMED physician, the medical records and billing documents are processed and stored at the local UNIMED office. If a patient seeks a second opinion or chooses to see a UNIMED doctor in another city, the two offices must bill each other for the visit. Because transferring and maintaining documents is such a large complex process, when patients get a second opinion many of the tests are repeated two to three times since the original test results are not easily available to the second physician. This phenomenon was a drain on the organization’s bottom line and efficiency, and contributed to the huge amount of records UNIMED needed to maintain.
UNIMED knew that they needed to implement a digital document management system in order to control costs and improve service to their patients. Brazilian Federal Law 5433 from 1968, regulated by decree number 1799 made in 1996, requires that all paper documents must be microfilmed in order to be destroyed. In order to eliminate their reliance on paper records, move to a digital information system and improve their work processes, UNIMED needed an efficient way to microfilm and digitize records simultaneously. After evaluating several systems and vendors, UNIMED choose to work with Geraldo Streck Gerenciamento de Imagem e Informação, an Authorized DocuWare Partner, and implemented DocuWare because it was a robust solution proven to work with high volumes of documents.