WRS Brings Shareable Ink’s Digital Pen Charting Solution to the EMR Market


To meet the demands of its burgeoning physician client base for easier documentation that would not disrupt productivity, WRS Health launched a review into alternative options to keyboard data entry. The solution needed to be portable, easy to implement, cost-effective and ideally allow the physicians to continue using fast and familiar pen and paper in the exam room.


WRS Health selected Shareable Ink’s digital pen solution as a documentation tool for ambulatory physician practices. Shareable Ink is an enterprise cloud computing company that transforms handwritten clinical documentation to structured data. It populates EMR fields with discrete data as if typed in via keyboard, enabling the physician to focus on the patient and the EMR data entry to be handled in the background.

The solution combines digital pen and paper with powerful cloud-based software to interpret and codify handwritten information and integrate it into the WRS Health EMR. The digital pen looks and works just like an ordinary ballpoint pen. However, the pen records everything (handwriting, drawings, checkboxes, signatures) as it is being written on paper forms and submits to the Shareable Ink cloud for immediate processing and conversion to structured data.

Digital paper is standard office paper upon which a microscopic pattern of dots is printed at the time of printing the form on a laser printer at the practice. The pattern of dots is unique to each page printed, allowing the pen to recognize different documents as well as its location on the page. The pen’s built-in infrared camera records the coordinates of the handwritten strokes as it writes. The handwritten strokes are then stored within the pen’s memory until they are routed to the Shareable Ink cloud platform. This routing occurs by placing the digital pen in a cradle attached to a network-connected PC, or by triggering a wireless transmission through a Bluetooth-enabled mobile communication device. 

WRS Health adopted the Shareable Ink solution to allow physicians, nurses, and even patients to document using the fast, familiar method of pen and paper. Once the physician completes the clinical note and syncs the pen, the physical form becomes electronic and the handwritten strokes are converted into structured text within the web based WRS EMR system. The form image and data elements are automatically uploaded into the correct patient’s chart, eliminating the need to physically label, scan, and index documents. Further, since the data is captured discretely and mapped to corresponding fields in the WRS EMR database, WRS Health physicians benefit from capturing structured data for reporting and Meaningful Use compliance with the convenience and simplicity of using pen and paper. In the same way as data keyed directly into WRS, the data populated by Shareable Ink is also encrypted and stored on WRS secure, CCHIT-certified, HIPAA-compliant platform, ensuring data integrity and regulatory compliance. Patients can use the solution for filling out medical history forms in the waiting room, thereby populating certain data fields in the EMR, which are then simply verified by the physician rather than needing to be re-keyed. For less than the cost per patient of a chart pull, physicians can quickly and conveniently adopt a digital charting infrastructure. The digital pen requires little training and support and is therefore very cost-effective.

Business Needs

The WRS Health Digital Pen Solution is a great solution for practices with providers who have varying comfort levels using computers. While one provider can chart using a standard computer interface, another can chart using a pen and paper. There is no need to delay an EMR implementation due to the resistance to change from providers or other medical office workers. Physicians can access all notes from the web wherever they have an Internet connection.

The WRS Digital Pen Solution is also perfect for specialties that rely on forms or free text for most of their charting needs. Patient consent forms, questionnaires and signatures can be captured easily using this technology.

Digital pen and paper is the ultimate mobile data collection tool for WRS Health physician client base. Physicians don’t see any change in their workflow. They simply fill out paper forms with a ballpoint pen. Each form is unique and the pen captures every stroke on the paper. Physicians and nurses can work as they always have, with their existing forms, and all the data is interfaced into the WRS Health EMR.

Suzanne Cogan, Shareable Ink’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing said, “A major benefit of Shareable Ink for WRS Health clients is that physicians can comply with CMS Meaningful Use requirements to use an EMR and populate it with reportable data, yet they don’t have to lose productivity by typing on a keyboard in order to do so. They can document in the exam room, in front of the patient, with the fastest, most unobtrusive form of data capture – pen and paper. The EMR data entry is handled for them in the background.” 

Shareable Ink is also adding a tablet input modality to accommodate physicians who like to document via tablets. “The physician can see the equivalent of a familiar paper form on the tablet screen and can interact with it with finger or a stylus. In the same way that the digital paper forms are smart enough to know if documentation is complete and compliant and alert the physician to any deficiencies, likewise tablets enable easy data entry with instant alerts for errors and omissions,” said Cogan.


Adding keyboard alternatives for physicians to use has provided WRS Health clients with immediate benefits, which include:

  • 100% physician adoption of the EMR with no disruption to existing workflows or patient schedules.
  • Meaningful Use enabler.
  • Automated ICD and CPT coding based on the note.
  • Portability – documentation can be done anywhere – in the exam room, the hospital, nursing home, or wherever the patient is seen.
  • Ease of IT implementation and support.