Implementation of Scanning at Barwon Health

Business Challenge

Barwon Health have utilised Core Medical Solution’s BOSSnet software suite since 2001. Increasing costs associated with offsite medical record storage and retrieval led Barwon Health to investigate the digitisation of their medical records. The paper medical record was found to be limiting as it was only ever available in one place at a time, and due to the fact that more and more records were being stored offsite, delays in providing medical records to the wards, emergency department, theatres and outpatients were being experience.


In 2007, Barwon Health chose to implement Core Medical Solutions BOSSnet Scanning module. Barwon Health ensured all of their medical record forms were bar coded which would allow forms to be automatically allocated to the correct place in the record when scanned, eliminating the need for manual intervention. Barwon Health considered back scanning, however decided that they would continue to provide the hardcopy medical record for a period of time to ensure clinicians still had access to the patient history if they needed it.

The BOSSnet Scanning platform delivered a singular view of patient records by multiple users, anywhere, anytime, with a single login and password. The benefit to clinical staff being that it was not necessary to go to different applications to view the patient record, investigations, results, worklists and correspondence, it was all via one access point in BOSSnet. The implementation of BOSSnet Scanning enabled automation and streamlining in workflows, improved decision support, patient safety, quality care, increased reporting and research abilities and ultimately – patient outcomes.


BOSSnet scanning was implemented at Barwon Health within 10 months. For some staff, the implementation of BOSSnet scanning was possibly the biggest change in their career. The number of paper records being manually retrieved and distributed to wards, emergency department and clinics reduced by 40% in less than 12 months.

A significant yet unexpected result was the rapid return on investment. The initial business case projected they would be cost neutral after 5 years, however they managed this within 18 months! This was largely due to new efficiencies in clinical coding. In addition to this, by late 2009, the 200 square meter medical records department was converted to office space as the need to store medical records onsite was eliminated.

BOSSnet also significantly contributed to formal recognition of Barwon Health as leaders in the delivery of quality healthcare in Australia. Barwon Health was awarded the first ever Outstanding Achievement in the field of Information Management by the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards Accreditation Programme in July 2009.

"For some staff, the implementation of BOSSnet scanning was possibly the biggest change of their career."

Michelle Martella
Senior Healthcare Information Advisor
Barwon Health