We are all in business. Everyone has customers. It’s just that, when we go to the doctor, as customers, we’re all called “patients.”
If you help to manage a medical practice*, you know there is a lot of paperwork – billing, invoices, patient files, etc. Hopefully, your “paperwork” isn’t entirely still paper. If it is (or even if “only” some of it is), read on.
Does this sound familiar:
A new patient enters your practice. You then scan his insurance card and hand him a clipboard with new patient information. After struggling to remember if his grandparents had any medical conditions, he hands the paper form back to you; along with his signed HIPAA statement. You label a manila folder and start placing his documents in it. The file is handed to the nurse. The nurse hands the file to the doctor. The Doc adds his notes to the file . . . eventually the manila folder ends up in a filing cabinet after a stop to be coded for billing. A few months later, back comes your patient and the paper hand off continues on.
Paper documents decrease productivity and increase personal health information (PHI) security risks.
There’s a much better way to do this.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, a copier is no longer solely a copier – it can also be a scanner and be used to image your documents. In a nutshell, document scanning can do two things: 1) take an image of your document (think photo) for electronic use and storage and 2) extract information from the document to start a business process (great for accounts payable).
Why does this matter?
Providing electronic access to your documents will:
- Enable quick access to patient files for the nurses, physicians, and support staff
- Facilitate control of documents and provide audit trails to demonstrate compliance with regulations, like HIPAA
- Faster administration can create more time for physicians to see more patients
- Elimination of those manila folders to create more room for office space, examination room, or maybe just a break room for staff
Most importantly, all of this helps you focus on your patients – not their paperwork.
*The principles behind removing paper apply to ANY business. Replace “patient records” with your own busy documents. Now call us too.