Going paperless must have been the dream of many practitioners, considering the fact that mountains of paperwork can be generated on a daily basis in medical practices. Not to mention, there are immense costs associated with this. Large scale paper use translates to a good amount of money spent. In addition, storing files, intake forms, referrals, test requisitions, bills and notes calls for additional storage space, which means not just more money, but time and effort are also required for managing all this. On the contrary, when medical practices switch to paperless offices, they reap the benefits of creating less carbon footprint and having low costs and fewer clusters of files to organize.
How to Get Started
Many medical offices still rely on pen and paper, amassing huge piles of hard copy data with no end in sight. This is due to multiple reasons: doctors are reluctant to transform their enormous amount of data, they don’t have the time to do it and they simply do not understand how digitalization can facilitate them significantly. The transition from a traditional data generation mode to a paperless digitized mode doesn’t have to occur all at once but initiated through small changes at a time. The gradual conversion of paper work can start by feeding data electronically for some forms like registration forms.
As a practice begins to reduce reliance on paper, medical record storage space is less needed. Experiencing the benefits of switching to an electronic format one step at a time motivates doctors to continue with this transformation. To make things easy, a good place to start is patient intake forms. Allow patients to use Kiosks or tablets to fill in basic information and schedule appointments. While scanners can help convert existing data that includes medical history of patients, diagnosis, personal details etc into electronic files.
How Much Time It Takes
Once physicians become familiar working with a new technology or method of data accumulation, they comfortably spend time with their vendors to scan important data and purge information which is no longer needed. Physicians also have to train their staff to carry out the processes of reviewing new electronic records for accuracy. This whole process of transforming their office can take up to 6 months or more. Physicians can dedicate one hour a day to this process to smoothly complete their upgrade to digital technology. In fact, there are many ways to go about this.
Select the Type of Upgrade You Want
Depending on the type of upgrade physicians choose to undergo, they can save themselves more time and energy. Some methods can be more efficient and less challenging to adopt. Outsourcing medical billing, for example, is a method that uses strategies specifically designed with medical practices in mind. It covers the whole aspect of billing by preparing claims, managing communication with insurance carriers, handling report submissions and pursuing settlements. This way practices are spared frustrating and time consuming tasks, ultimately saving time and energy.
Streamlining the office workflow into a digitized format not only makes the whole process a lot easier but it also eliminates waste and contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect. Medical practices can now operate with a green approach, serving humans and the environment altogether.