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Medical oversight board meetings goes paperless

By William F. O’Brien
Contributing Writer

Reams of paper used to prepare board books for members in for board meetings at the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure have been replaced by electronic board books, said deputy director Regi Varghese.

Previously, the board prepared huge agenda for its eight members. Agenda items often included and related medical records often made them unwieldy.

The board oversees such matters as possible discipline action against physicians, physician assistants, and other medical-related professions that the nine members of the board regulates.

Preparing board books, Varghese relates, was a major undertaking every month. They also had to mailed to board members in advance.

And after the meetings concluded, the board staff had to shred boar book contents to assure confidentiality.
The new, paperless meeting debuted in January.

Each member of the board has been schooled in how to operate an i-Pad when he or she received it, and according to Lyle Kelsey, the executive director of the board. Some were familiar with their use since they used them in their medical practices.

All relevant data was scanned to a temporary PDF files on a secure servers; and the board members were notified via e-mail when they could download its contents on to their individual I-Pads.

Kelsey reports that during the meeting the Board members utilized styluses to make notes and highlight relevant formation on the iPad’s “UPAD feature.

Any apprehension Kelsey and Varghese initially had was eliminated when the first paperless meeting went smoothly.

Other boards and state agencies could achieve similar savings and staff time economies by adopting similar procedures.

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