Western Maryland Health Systems Emergency Departments Accelerate the Move to EMRs with Anoto Digital Pen and Paper Technology

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Using BartCharts ED Templates and Anoto Digital Pens, Two Emergency Departments Seamlessly Adapted Their Workflows to Include Electronic Records in Just Days

Anoto Group, the inventor of digital pen and paper technology, today announced that emergency departments in the Western Maryland Health System (WMHS) have transitioned to electronic records using solutions powered by its digital pen and paper technology. The emergency departments at Cumberland, Md.-based WMHS Braddock and WMHS Memorial were able to quickly and easily transition their paper-based workflows to include digital pen and paper in a matter of days.

One of the greatest challenges facing America's healthcare providers--particularly smaller, regional public health providers like WMHS--is the transition from paper-based processes to electronic health records. For emergency departments, this presents an even greater challenge as ER IT environments tend to be very separate from main hospital IT systems. However, this also provides the opportunity for tremendous new efficiencies, including heretofore-unimaginable increases in security and collaborative capabilities between health professionals and hospital "back-end" systems such as billing and coding.

The two WMHS hospitals have begun the transition to electronic medical records, having implemented Meditech's EMR program. Working with the emergency physician group MEP and emergency practice management systems company PSR, WHMS implemented emergency-department chart templates from BartCharts, a provider of emergency-practice software systems, in just a few days with minimal training.

"One of the hurdles to EMR adoption faced by emergency departments across the country is the ability to transition from paper-based patient charting to electronic patient records," said Aaron Snyder, MD, FACEP, chairman of emergency medicine with WHMS. "We were able to implement eBartCharts with digital pen and paper within a few days and with minimal staff training. Our emergency departments are now seeing the significant benefits of going electronic."

Key to BartCharts' eBartCharts solution (eBC) is Anoto Digital Pen and Paper technology, which couples the familiarity of pen-on-paper with digital records. Using eBC, a specific electronic chart is printed upon the patient's arrival with a patented dot pattern from Anoto that allows the digital pen to sense its location on the chart. Physicians then document their work with the patient on this chart using the digital pen, which is then docked to a computer, instantly capturing the written information in an electronic record. The documentation is then validated for completeness, and the physician receives coding prompts and reminders.

Emergency-department personnel were able to master this new data capture process within minutes, as eBC and the Anoto digital pen didn't require them to change any of their existing workflows. Additionally, WHMS no longer needs to retype patient information and no longer runs the risk of lost patient information with misplaced charts.

"With the emphasis that is being placed on EMRs, digital pen and paper is offering healthcare providers a very efficient, highly cost-effective solution in the move from paper-based systems to EMRs," said Pietro Parravicini, president and CEO, Anoto, Inc. "We have increasingly seen healthcare facilities like WHMS adopt solutions from Anoto partners that are helping them to make this transition and recognize significant benefits."

"The electronic BartChart was developed by practicing emergency physicians who recognized the need for an electronic medical record but experienced the intrusion and inefficiencies inherent in current systems," added Robert J. Rothstein, MD, a co-founder of BartCharts. "The implementations at WMHS add to the growing number of emergency rooms that have found the solution invaluable, including ERs at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., North Cypress Medical Center in Cypress, Texas, and Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown, Md."

Upon chart completion, the electronic chart is saved and files are transmitted automatically to medical records and billing. WMHS plans to complete the integration of its electronic emergency-department charts and Meditech in Q1 of 2010, for a seamless, paperless workflow between the emergency department and the hospital's main EMR system.

Further information on Anoto Group can be found at http://www.anoto.com; for more on BartCharts, please visit http://www.bartcharts.com.

About Anoto Group
Anoto Group is the company behind and world leading in the unique technology for digital pen and paper, which enables fast and reliable transmission of handwritten text into a digital format. Anoto operates through a global partner network that focuses on user-friendly forms solutions for efficient capture, transmission and storage of data within different business segments, e.g. healthcare, bank and finance, transport and logistics and education. The Anoto Group has around 110 employees, offices in Lund (head office), Boston and Tokyo. The Anoto share is listed on NASDAQ OMX Nordic small cap list under the ticker ANOT. For more information: http://www.anoto.com.

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