When it comes to healthcare, document management is one of the most important considerations after patient care. Ensuring that documents are accurate and up-to-date is essential for the safety of patients and staff. In addition, healthcare providers need to have the data they require available at a moment’s notice.
The very setting of healthcare also dictates that the documentation involved is highly sensitive. Correct storage and adherence to confidentiality requirements are imperative.
Digitizing paper records is a perfect way to tick all of these boxes. It can also allow healthcare providers to manage documents in a secure, accessible format. Here at River City Data, we may have the answer to your prayers.
Why Digitize Documents?
Transferring documents to a digital format offers a vast range of benefits, and these include:
- Saving money
This is one of the significant advantages of digitizing your documents. Electronic records do not require extensive storage facilities and do not need to be printed. This cuts costs on paper, printing, and photocopying.
You will not need to have ample space available solely to store documents; the same information is securely held on a server. This can allow some facilities to downsize or rent smaller spaces – a guaranteed space saver. Using an online system to manage and retrieve documents can also cut staff costs. There will no longer be any need to employ workers solely to retrieve and handle materials.
Retrieval fees are another issue often faced by those with a large number of documents. Many companies will charge a fee for the owner to access a particular document, or when a request is made. By moving online, healthcare providers place themselves in charge; there is no need to contact or rely on a third party.
- Boost security
Holding all of your documents digitally helps to protect them against most external threats. Mold, floods, or fires can devastate a document storage room, reducing vital information to ashes in seconds. If details are stored digitally, multiple backups can be made remotely; even if one server fails, you can access files.
Sensitive patient data can also be held securely. Passwords can be reinforced with complex access requirements and systems, making it impossible for unauthorized parties to access. This offers greater security than storing documents physically, which could be obtained by anyone.
The ability to secure certain elements also helps facilities when it comes to compliance. Assigning different access rights can protect data for different files. As an example, the billing department could be granted access to payments and insurance, not medical details. This makes it easier to comply with key legislation such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
- Increased efficiency
The time it takes to transport documents from one place to another physically should not be underestimated. Such requests can take hours or days, slowing down the treatment for the patient. A digital document, however, can be retrieved almost instantly. Any urgent updates or changes can then be implemented as soon as required, improving patient care.
Any updates which need to be made to a file can also be applied more quickly, and it is possible to update across several sections. This allows for improved collaboration and a reduced risk of errors. Misinformation will be picked up instantly, and the ability to update in real-time ensures that records are always up to date.
Multiple healthcare providers will be able to work together, even remotely. This action could be beneficial for spotting patterns, anomalies, or errors across patient records. Overall, more sets of eyes could result in a faster diagnosis and better treatment.
By boosting collaboration, providers are also increasing accuracy. There is a reduced risk of having multiple copies of the same record, with no way of ascertaining the most recent. Instead, all changes and updates will be made in real-time, helping to ensure ongoing accuracy.
- Easier updates
Most document management systems will offer the chance to not only store documents, but also make edits, approvals, and revisions. The ever-changing nature of healthcare, legal, and medical regulations means that there will be policies that require regular updates. By working from a single, central system, you can speed up this process, while also reducing the risk of errors.
- More consistent care
As we mentioned, the physical transportation of documents is time-consuming and can have an impact on care. In addition, pages can be lost or damaged, leading to an incomplete picture if the patient has to move hospitals. A digital system allows any medical professional anywhere in the country to access accurate, up to date records.
The system can also be beneficial for patients. Digitally storing complete medical histories eliminates the need for patients to explain their circumstances to every new provider. This is a process that could be very painful or traumatic, depending on the situation. Overall, digital files allow providers to deliver higher-quality and more consistent care to patients.
- More time for patients
A recent study showed that doctors in hospitals spent 49.2% of their time doing paperwork, compared to just 27% of time seeing patients. Completing and updating records, transferring documents, and double-checking data all take up precious time.
Switching to digital severely reduces this figure, allowing medical professionals to spend more time with patients. The result? Happier, more fulfilled patients and more focused physicians.
Digitization of all documents is the best way to move forward. It offers healthcare providers more of everything they need; time, money, and patient contact, while reducing costs, admin, and stress. Digital copies of records are also more accessible, allowing instant access, and reducing the risk of potentially fatal errors.
Here at River City Data, we have the skills and experience to help you make the switch. No matter how large the project, or how complex the files, our team will work with you to move online. Our services include full scanning of documents and the secure disposal of the records; this is essential for confidentiality.
Get in touch today for a free estimate and see how we could start helping you in no time!