Providing the Solution To Secure Direct Healthcare Messaging

September 14, 2016


As the old adage goes: Don’t take a good thing for granted.

How often do we do this in our personal and professional lives?  Probably more than we’d like to admit.  So when that good thing comes along, recognize it, take pride in it and promote it.  That’s precisely what we’re doing with our interoperability capabilities as they grow and become more relevant for more of our healthcare customers.

For the past couple of years, we’ve been offering Kno2, our direct messaging solution. It provides a more secure and compliant means of exchanging clinical documents. For example, when a patient is transferred from the hospital to a post-acute care facility, Kno2 is being used to facilitate the transmission of that patient’s medical history, referral and other documentation, complying with HIPAA and HITECH standards. That’s exciting stuff and puts Konica Minolta squarely on the interoperability map.

Just as Meaningful Use requirements are changing and the new healthcare reimbursement models — such as MACRA/MIPS — emerge, Kno2 becomes even more relevant. One large area of opportunity pertaining to direct messaging is that it’s a new technology and not everyone has jumped on the bandwagon just yet. We at Konica Minolta have the ability to impact adoption by providing awareness, education and a highly available and affordable option.

Here’s how.

Our partner, Kno2, has been busy developing further product enhancements to make their solution even more relevant within the healthcare market. Today, when Konica Minolta places a healthcare multifunction printer powered by Kno2 into a customer’s facility, they have the ability to send a direct message from the device and receive inbound direct messages from referral partners in the cloud.  However, if they wanted to use the cloud app to send direct messages (much like a secure e-mail built specifically for healthcare), they’re required to upgrade their subscription and pay additional fees. Soon, Kno2 users will be able to receive and send direct messages to any other Kno2 user at no additional charge. This builds the network of Kno2 users for interoperable exchange, drives the adoption of direct messaging and reduces the reliance on fax, paper and costly manual processes.

Fax. Yes, it’s still used and healthcare is perhaps the biggest culprit.  We help our customers who still need this capability, and we’ll be adding another offering to address this requirement very soon. When this solution becomes available, any customer with a Konica Minolta healthcare multifunction printer powered by Kno2 will be able to send a fax using the bizhub connector from our control panel.  Users can send any message with clinical content attached and ensure it’s fully encrypted, audited and managed. And, because it’s being transmitted using the Kno2 Cloud Fax App, it enables Kno2 to analyze exchange activity and begin messaging to the end-user regarding their fax activity, and offers other opportunities to move to more interoperable forms of exchange, such as direct.

Healthcare customers are challenged by a number of issues — and certainly interoperable exchange is one of them. However, the use of electronic health records (EHR) and the complexity it can introduce into an organization’s workflow can be problematic. And with the multitude of ancillary systems used in a hospital, practice or extended-care facility, integrating those systems to create a more streamlined approach to managing a patient’s medical records can be a big concern.  Here’s how we can help with Kno2’s enhanced capabilities.

Kno2 has successfully developed its first cloud-based integration to an ambulatory EHR system and will be aggressively pursuing additional EHR vendors in the coming months. The value of EHR integration is the ability to look up a patient and visit date, and then assign to the documentation for sending and receiving purposes.   These integrations will be available through our Konica Minolta bizhub MFPs and enables patient searches right from the touchscreen of the device, removing the need for extensive data entry of patient demographics. This saves time and increases accuracy. Further, it allows documents to be scanned and stored right to the EHR from the device.  So, instead of scanning a document for sending purposes only — and then having to scan it to the EHR separately — now a user can perform a patient look-up from the Konica Minolta device, scan a document to the EHR, and then initiate a transmission of that document to an outside provider.

So, what is the outcome of this new process? Improved workflow and enhanced user experience, exceptional system integration, improved exchange of data and, ultimately, improved patient care. And, as healthcare reimbursement moves from a fee-for-service model to a quality-based methodology, healthcare providers will demand these types of solutions. Konica Minolta is excited and proud to offer this new experience, and assist our customers in successfully executing against new compliance and payment requirements.

Joe Cisna, MBA, MHA
Director, Healthcare Solutions

Joe Cisna manages the healthcare strategy for Konica Minolta Business Solutions and has more than 18 years of healthcare provider and payer sales and marketing experience in electronic health records and medical cost containment services. He is responsible for supporting the Direct and Dealer Sales Channels with marketing, training and sales enablement tools and initiatives to drive healthcare solutions for our customers. Joe holds an MBA and a Masters’ in Healthcare Administration and is a Certified HIPAA Professional (CHP). He loves to run and play guitar, but not at the same time.