Healthcare professionals spend a substantial amount of time on paperwork and other administrative tasks. The average doctor in the US spends 16.6% of his or her time on non-patient-related paperwork. This equates to nearly 9 hours each week that could be spent with patients instead.
Heavy reliance on paper products are estimated to cost the healthcare industry as much as $300 billion annually. While many have already moved to electronic health records (EHR) that doesn’t mean the practice is now paperless. Here are 5 simple steps to make going paperless more manageable.
1. Electronic Health Records
This is the largest step that will serve as the foundation. Whether you are a physician at smaller private practice or on the management team of hospital system, an EHR will help you streamline, be more efficient and keep your data more secure. To further optimize your practice, consider speech enabled EHR which allows medical professionals to dictate information rather than manually entering patient data.
2. Medical Billing
A robust online portal can allow patients to manage their healthcare payments and receive eStatements. If you have already converted to EHR in step one, Applied Medical Systems’ medical billing and coding services can be integrated with your current system. Your billing, health records and coding information will operate as one fluid management system.
3. Eliminate Envelopes
It seems simple, but if you want your staff and patients to get on board with going paperless then eliminate processes that encourage the continued use of paper. Don’t include remittance envelopes with patient statements. Instead, include clear instructions on how they can enroll for eStatements and make payments either online or by phone.
4. Internal Records
Paperwork extends far beyond patient records. Consider an electronic system for HR files, compliance records and even employee payroll. This will include putting plan in place for disposing of existing documents once their digitized, and the process for destroying and disposing of documents going forward.
5. Make Paper Inconvenient
Similar to eliminating envelopes for patient, make paper inconvenient for your staff. Get rid of excess fax machines and printers from multiple office locations, implement dual-monitors for increased screen space to load documents and sign up for paperless statements from all service providers.
Going paperless won’t happen overnight, but eventually paperless habits will be second nature for physicians, other medical professionals, support staff and patients. A full transition can take months or years to complete, but you don’t have to do it alone. Choosing the right third-party service providers will help you maximize all the benefits you could be getting from going paperless.
Applied Medical Systems has more than 50 years of combined experience in nearly every area of practice administration. You’ll get the benefit of comprehensive expertise without overpaying for an internal team of specialists. Their technology-drive solutions deliver proven results. To learn more about how Applied Medical Systems can address your specific needs, request a free quote today.