Best Scanners for High Volume Scanning in a Doctor’s Office

We now interrupt all this HITECH act EHR stimulus money talk for our regularly scheduled program.

If you are looking at implementing EHR, then you better become familiar with a nice high quality scanner. Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they are paperless. Sure, many don’t store paper, but even the very best EMR or EHR implementation has loads of paper that needs to be scanned.

Still don’t believe me, then how do you plan on handling a new patient who brings in a stack of paper records from their old doctor. I’ll leave the rest of the list of possible paper for another day. Suffice it to say that you’ll NEED a high quality scanner that can handle high volume.

When we first implemented we used a nice little all in one scanner. Worked well, except we literally burnt it out after less than a month of scanning.

After that we finally ponied up the money and bought some high quality, high volume fujitsu scanners. 4 years later we’re still scanning with no end in sight. We do have to do regular cleaning (about 5 minutes max) to clean off all the ink that gets on the feeder. Otherwise, these babies are the best I’ve seen. Here’s links to the 2 models fujitsu currently offers.

Fujitsu fi-6130 Duplex Scanner
Update: The Fujitsu Fi-6130 is no longer available, but here’s the Fujitsu Fi-7160

Fujitsu FI-6230 Clr Duplex 40PPM/30PPM USB
Flat bed and ADF feeder:
Update: The Fujitsu Fi-6230 is no longer available, but here’s the Fujitsu Fi-7260

One has a flat bed for those hard to feed scan items (ie. prescriptions) and the other is just the feeder for the high volume scanning.  Some may think it’s a little expensive for a scanner, but it’s worth it.

I’ll be updating my list of EMR and EHR technology with items like the scanners above. Many people have asked me which scanners are best, which computers are best, what about tablets, fax servers, etc, etc. Now you can just check out my list of software, tablets, computers, fax servers, scanners, printers, etc and see some recommended items to help your office.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

12 Comments

  • Can’t wait to see what Tablet PC’s you recommend. It seems like there are many different opinions in the industry, but I hear a lot about the Motion C5.

  • I must admit that I have a bit of a bias towards the convertibles. I just can’t imagine not having a keyboard. The only exception is when you have Dragon Naturally Speaking working well and can just dictate into the tablet.

    The biggest problem with tablets is that they evolve so quickly. Impossible for me to keep up. I’ll probably do more of a general overview for different brands and how those brands are known in the market.

  • First, I agree with the author, Fujitzu High speed scanners are the best. When we converted from paper to paperless in June 2005, two offices, we had one at each. They are still up and running. We have developed 5 lab interfaces and are receiving most radiology reports and several Consulting reports through our fax server, eliminating the need for scanning. You’ll never eliminate the need for scanning until everyone is paperless. We purchased a newer version of our original Fujitzu Scanner for our billing department, 18 mos after “going live” with our EMR. It’s also running like a mad man.

    We Converted our 3rd clinic, a (County Jail Facility), to our EMR and our Fujitzu High speed scanner is still rocking. The author is right, patients/people will still bring you a stack of paper until all physicians convert to an EMR with CCR.

    As far as tablets, you’ll need a detachable keyboard. You’ll be multitasking and need it. You may only need it 10-20 % of the time but it’s handy. With a good EMR, dictation is not something you’ll ever use.

    We were big Motion buyers. We bought 2 initially in 2005, then 3 more in 2006-2007. Very happy, a little pricey but worked great. The batteries failed quickly. Expensive, bought extrace DC adapters for rooms, worked and still does pretty good. Early 2008, bought a 1700. Had font and imaged size issues with our EMR software. We’d never experienced this before with our EMR. We troubleshooted with them extensively to no avail. They wouldn’t take the machine back after all the business we’d done with them. We then tried the Fujitzu Lifebook which is much lighter, longer battery life, but slightly less sensitive pen/touch screen. Happy with it so far.

    We most recently purchased a Dell Latitiude XT tablet to replace one of the early Motions who’s detachable keyboard stop working but “is no longer made”. Tablet still works, but Motion offers no keyboard replacement for it. The Dell Latitidue XT tablet is very nice but slightly more that the Fujitzu but has slightly better pen to screen sensitivity. Either are very good with our EMR.

  • Thanks for the nice review. I just installed 2 of the latest Fujitsu scanners listed above in a doctor’s office today and those things are sweet little machines. The install was smoothest I’ve ever done. I personally like PaperPort as the scanner software, but I haven’t tried the latest VRS software that comes with the Fujitsu. It might be better than the other scanning software it came with previously. I’ve also used Adobe Acrobat professional which has worked well, but not as good as paperport. I wish Fujitsu would bundle Paperport with their scanners.

    Thanks for the review of tablets. I’ll probably draw on some of the information you shared in a future post and on my list of EMR tablets.

    I just ordered a couple Dell XT2 (they just came out with a newer model). I’ve tried a number of the XT at conferences and really liked the design. Do you always use the stylus on the Dell XT or do you use the touch screen as well? The Dell XT2 has mutliple touch points. I can’t wait to try that out.

    Batteries are still the bane of any laptops/tablets. I’m also a bit biased towards convertibles as opposed to a pure tablet. I like having that keyboard there when needed.

  • Thank you for the nice review. I am amazed about the latest models of document scanners. Especially the latest Dell model have a high resolution and fast processing capability; but are on the more expensive site.

  • Most clinical practices would burn right through most Dell scanners that I’ve seen. I wouldn’t buy anything but the Fujitsu’s listed above or I hear there are some really good Kodak scanners as well.

  • To those who have converted historical paper documents, or are starting, would you consider outsourcing this task to a document scanning service? Why or why not? Thanks!

  • I think that it’s pretty clinic specific depending on your need for those documents. However, I don’t recommend someone trying to scan them all themselves. If you need them scanned, then I do recommend outsourcing the scanning. Just make sure you work with someone who’s good at what they do. They try to underbid you often and you get what you pay for.

    Most people I’ve seen keep the paper charts around and just pull them when it may be needed. Then, down the road they consider scanning all the old charts.

  • Fujitsu scanners have always been workhorses, and you get a great scanner at a reasonable price compared to the market.

    We have been doing quite a bit of work in the medical arena lately, and there are so many opportunities for streamlining the whole EMR process, especially with the right capture software and hardware combo.

    Steve
    EMR Scanning and Capture Software

  • Hey John –

    I am in agreement with the recommendation for Fujitsu scanners. With the push to hosted or SaaS based EMR/EHR models, a new round of scanning concerns are being raised, however.

    Practices are making the decision for a hosted model to avoid the headaches and costs with an on-premise solution. Traditional scanning, however, has required a PC-attached scanner with local software installed on each PC to run the scanner(s). This defeats the purpose of going hosted for both the practice and the EMR vendor.

    But, Fujitsu has answered the anticipated problem, with one of their newest scanner models, the Fujitsu ScanSnap fi-6010N. Fujitsu, in conjunction with Inofile, have come to market with an all-in-one network device that integrates directly and securely with an on-premise or hosted EMR. In addition, a practice can use the device for other document activities such as scan to fax, email, and print.

    Other features of the FI-6010N with Inofile software include:

    – 25PPM scanning, simultaneous front and back, auto blank page delete, black & white or color
    – Direct EMR integration capabilities including scan to patient, scan to encounter, and scan to order.
    – Complete user authentication, image encryption,and secure document transfer for HIPAA 5010 compliance
    – Creation of “interoperable content” based upon CDA/HL7 standards
    – Batch scanning is very quick and efficient- scan entire charts, multiple charts, etc. in a single scanning session

    To see the device in action, visit the following:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRZuNgNuQpY
    http://www.inofile.com/iscanner.aspx
    http://scansnapcommunity.com/features/1410-why-a-network-scanner/

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