Case Study – Health Care

Central Health Insurance

Since 1970, Central Health Insurance (CKV) has used microfilm for document archiving, with microfiche being the primary media. Approximately 6,000 documents per day were created in contract service alone during this period.

CKV field manager Jurgen Schmidt and project leader Gunther Kemper were determined to make all documents from the current microfilm archives available in the company's FileNET archive. An initial attempt was made to scan microfilm prints and transfer them into the system, but this method would have required twice the personnel. In order to get the job done with the manpower available, a microfilm scanner was needed. The most important requirements were that the scanner had to:

  • work automatically
  • be easy to operate
  • be connected into a Novell network

After a great deal of painstaking analysis, CKV decided on the SunRise microfilm scanner. "We made exact calculations. The second best solution would have required six to seven times the personnel expenditure. Only these devices can be sensibly used for large quantities of data."

The SunRise scanner functions almost automatically. During the scanning operation, it orients the document reproductions of film sections that are lying crosswise. Each jacketed film type can be scanned. Markings are processed in order to recognize the subdivisions of a file and to arrange the documents properly.

Logical document archiving in electronic format for incoming and outgoing mail is a primary strategic goal of CKV. Three different film platforms can be used, which can be exchanged with little handling. In this manner, all film types are processed. Central uses microfiche jackets and AB-DICK positive film stock, and requires only a single film platform for all of them. SunRise had originally developed the scanning process for AB-DICK under contract for the Pentagon, and the results are convincing.

In "contract service," inspection alone requires approximately 100 operations per day. This involves contract modifications, new recordings, and correspondence. Central decided to start with this area. The complete customer files were transferred via the scanner into the archive by the archive employees upon request. In peak times at the beginning, up to 8,500 pages per day, i.e., more than 1000 pages per hour, were transferred. Moreover, using several page scanners, paper documents were recorded as needed and put into the archive.

The strategy is not to transfer the complete microfilm archive to electronic media, but to transfer files completely only upon the request of a specialist. Using this strategy, a microfilm archive can be broken down in steps. Only the active components are used; all other files remain archived in the customary form.

If a specialist requires a file per PC, the insurance numbers are printed on the requirement list in bar code. If the associated microfiche is scanned, the scanner operator uses a bar code reader in order to compare the numbers. In this process, the highest degree of error security is achieved.

"After a short learning curve, the system proved itself in every regard," remarked Schmidt. "We are currently using it at 80 retrieval work stations and are in the process of expanding to approximately 200 users. In the meantime, we have executed a maintenance contract for the scanner, a decision that is worthwhile for any investment of this type. We will also receive free software updates in the terms of this contract."

Central has further plans, according to Schmidt. "We are working towards a mail-entry archive with electronic mail-distribution. Thought is also being given to expanding this idea to our branches and agencies. Our customers would like us to give them clear answers to their questions quickly. That can only be done this way."

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