ENX Magazine (December 16, 2016) by Michael Nadeau – Despite HIPAA regulations to ensure privacy and security, many health providers still rely on traditional fax to exchange patient information. Larger hospitals and primary care providers have made progress thanks in part to government incentives. However, hundreds of thousands of other healthcare providers such as assisted living centers, physical therapy practices, or mental health facilities have been unable or reluctant to make needed changes to digitize and automate patient data.
This is an opportunity for the dealers and OEMs who already sell the hardware that healthcare providers use to scan, copy, print, and share patient data. In fact, two OEMS–Konica Minolta and Xerox–have integrated technology from Kno2™ into MFPs to create devices that are engineered specifically for healthcare.
Kno2 provides software and cloud services to help automate and secure patient document exchange for healthcare providers. Healthcare providers may purchase a license for the cloud-based service directly, but having access to those services directly from an MFP makes them much more effective.
“There’s a lot of technology out there that should have already solved this problem, but the fact is that fax remains the dominant technology to exchange medical information in healthcare,” said Jon Elwell, CEO of Kno2. “Kno2 brought an easy-to-use, cost effective solution that addresses the gap between disparate systems and allows [healthcare providers] to exchange interoperable content with very simple technology. The office imaging space is very interesting to us because that device [the MFP] is the antithesis of what healthcare wants. They want electronic exchange, data, interoperability, and that device on a standalone basis represents print/copy/scan/fax. None of which is where healthcare is headed.”
Kno2 and its OEM partners have changed by adding a simple user interface (UI) to the MFP that adds a “Share Patient Information” option next to “Fax.” “In healthcare, they don’t like change,” said Elwell. Adding a simple button to the MFP, along with what Kno2 does in the background, add significant value without forcing healthcare workers to change processes and workflows.
“When I press that [Share Patient Information] button, a couple of things happen,” said Elwell. “I get access to a directory of 1.2 million providers across the U.S. who can receive the content. Second, [Kno2] performs a couple of steps on the device that changes dramatically the value of that payload. Instead of scanning and sending a PDF, I’m now sending a direct message in the form of an interoperable document with patient information and document type wrapped around the PDF so the system can adjust that document automatically back to the patient record.”
The ability to add this kind of value could give Konica Minolta and Xerox dealers an edge in landing healthcare accounts. With previous experience at IKON and Ricoh, Elwell understands the channel well, and the company provides marketing collateral and help with messaging to channel sales teams.
Dealers who do not sell those brands will not be able to integrate Kno2 on their own as it requires access to the MFP source code. Kno2 is willing to work with dealers or VARs who want to resell its cloud-based version, which provides the same functionality but only from the desktop or a web browser. Resellers would need to show that they are committed and capable of supporting healthcare customers.
There is a lesson here for all dealers selling document solutions into healthcare. Kno2 is not the only company that solves the problems around patient information exchange. It’s success is based on Kno2’s ease of use and accessibility. The product doesn’t ask healthcare providers to make disruptive changes, and it is priced within reach of even the smallest of them. Healthcare has resisted solutions that have demanded too much change to processes and workflows.
Elwell believes working within the document imaging space is the best way to create healthcare solutions that work and will be used. “We believe that one of the best things we can do for healthcare is solve the problem at its source,” he said. That source might be the MFP or a fax solution like another of Kno2’s partners, OpenText. “If we put technology at the source, we can change the trajectory of that solution and solve healthcare’s problems faster than anyone else.”