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Lawrence Memorial Hospital: Managing a Challenging 120,000-File Relocation

The Problem

Senior Account Manager Cinda Dowell initially met with the purchasing team at Lawrence Memorial Hospital (LMH) in Lawrence, Kansas, to measure for two X-ray filing units. But she soon realized they needed a lot more help. The hospital had purchased PACS software to image radiology film for digital storage. Before that process could begin, they faced a daunting logistical challenge — relocation. Almost 120,000 oversized patient folders must be loaded onto 260 carts and moved to the Health Information Management Systems (HIMS) space one floor below. In addition, after 2 years, the entire HIMS department would be relocated due to planned demolition.

The Solution

First, AMES assisted HIMS with back shifting their entire records series. HIMS had purged files, causing an imbalance of shelf spacing. Due to sequential filing, they required greater capacity at the end of the system. Then, an even bigger challenge arose when the HIMS relocation was moved up by 1 year. Now, in addition to again moving radiology’s 119,000 files to a temporary warehouse, AMES immediately assisted HIMS with converting 90,000 of their files that required relabeling, sorting to Terminal Digit, and relocation to the reconfigured X-ray mobile system. AMES designed the system to accommodate both radiology’s immediate needs and HIMS’ longer term requirements — at considerable savings to the hospital. In addition, AMES’ Professional Services team saved thousands of dollars by organizing inactive files so that each year’s file boxes could be destroyed according to LMH’s retention schedules. More importantly, AMES implemented a separate filing system for mammography film, which must be stored permanently, streamlining information and saving space. Throughout the 2-year process, AMES created and maintained a detailed manifest of every file.

The Results

During the project, both radiology and HIMS remained fully operational with access to all files at all times. The experience and expertise AMES provided, along with the coordination and reliable manpower they assembled, proved invaluable as the hospital tackled difficult challenges and revisions to the overall scope. The project benefits included:

  • Improved file retrieval rates
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved space efficiency
  • Increased file accessibility