Documents, billing, and insurance cover a large part of any organization’s expenditure. For healthcare providers, documentation accounts for a significant portion of their budget. The volume of new data they take in every day is massive as they have to record information of patients every time they visit. Furthermore, all records must be maintained by medical establishments for at least ten years after a patient’s last visit. As health centers seek to include new rules and guidelines in their extensive networks, as the Affordable Care Act makes things a bit more complicated.
There are several advantages to digitalizing patient records and implementing a document management system over former paper-based solutions. It is recommendable to use a document management system because of its multiple benefits. Here are six advantages that will spur you to adopt this unique business strategy:
Minimization Of Funds
The way document management system allows its users to save money has to be the most apparent advantage. How healthcare centers can cut back on their spending when they utilize DMS includes:
- Downsized personnel expenses: You do not need many staffs to log or retrieve records physically when you employ an excellent document management system. With DMS, you can remotely or electronically access any vital information that is secured in the order.
- Decreased storage requirements: Some facilities need to record the complete data on the floors of the building. This will result in less room for value-added services such as healthcare. You can store all your patient files in on-site servers that require little or no space through the digitalization of records. Some medical facilities use cloud storage solutions, which are much more favorable because they don’t occupy space.
- Fewer recovery charges: Every time you order or return a physical record, some filing services charge you for it. With DMS, you don’t need a middleman. The digitalization of your records lets you search and access your files without an intermediary.
- Minimum need for materials and equipment: Paper-based documentation is costly, while document management systems are cost-effective. Your facility doesn’t require as many papers, printers, photocopiers, faxes and ink cartridges when you can electronically record files.
Significant Protection & Tractability
There is a high possibility of losing paper-based information as a result of natural disasters, accidents, mold, fires, flooding or other types of emergencies. On the other hand, electronic files benefit from redundant storage and disaster recovery solutions. Regardless of a faulty server, every document is digitally backed up, so the information of your patients is safer. What is more protective; every file in your order has a detailed chain of custody that automatically assigns employee names and timestamps at every step of the processing. DMS has an unbeatable level of security, which is advantageous for you because:
- By assigning access rights for individual files, you can protect sensitive patient data. For instance, the only information that is associated with insurance and payments can be accessed by the billing department.
- Meanwhile, medical providers can only view information relevant to health details. Insurance information is out of bounds for them.
- The electronic document management facilities can competently conform to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
An audit trail which provides data such as the date, time and username for each activity that occurs in a record will reduce misconduct in the facility. Document management system makes personnel follow the company’s policies strictly.
Increased Progression & Lesser Lapses
Paper records are physical documents which must be transferred by hand from the archives to the department concerned. Unfortunately, some record requests often take hours or even days though it might be urgent. On the other hand, it takes a total of seconds to return or recover records via a digital document management system.
Moreover, several departments can synchronously access the same record without having to go through the pain of photocopying files. In some DMS versions, the subdivision is part of the features you can apply to your documents. This feature means that two different departments can upload information on the system at the same time.
For example, the medical personnel can amend information simultaneously as the billing department is revising on the same system.
Furthermore, versioning history makes sure that each record echoes up-to-date and distinct information. Ultimately, the document management system results in minimal errors and repetition.
Promotes Partnership Amongst Staffs
Paper-based documents can only allow access to information per staff, which makes teamwork between employees challenging. With DMS, multiple users can view and modify a report at the same time through collaboration features. Access to files depends on the office needs, and only the manager can specify if a material is available to just one user or many users. A few DMS versions even offer real-time collaboration. What’s more, various users in different locations can work together on the same file, which ultimately saves time. With DMS, you can also use PDF conversion software, which means files can be easily transferred to anywhere in the world as long as there is an internet connection.
Easy To Use And Stressless Migration
Most healthcare facilities presume that migrating from a paper-based system is a disheartening task when they consider it. This belief has led to a long-term delay in progressing to the digital platform. However, employing an electronic document management system is a profitable investment that provides instantaneous merits. Therefore, it requires only feasible steps to complete the migration.
It is advisable, to begin with a minimum amount of records. With the ensuing savings, you can fund the rest. If this is done, you will yield abundance in the growth level of your facility compared to similar industries that still use a paper-based system. It will be a steady increase in profits as your document management system progresses.
The benefits mentioned above will immediately lead to the prosperity of the health care center. Cut back in costs, time, lapses and leaks in privacy can simplify and enhance your medical facility. Even better, the less time and cash you spend on administrative documentation, the more resources your personnel can spend on facilities that contribute value. In essence, your facility is liable to offer better healthcare and perform satisfactorily than other paper-based operators. Therefore, you will have satisfied patients.
With the above factors, it is advisable that all medical practitioners in their various categories invest in the application of DMS in their medical records.