Eliminating Paper to Elevate Care: How to go Paperless in Healthcare

Eliminating Paper

Eliminating Paper in healthcare is a challenge, but your efforts to go green will not go unrewarded. Research shows that going Eliminating Paper provides more benefits than just being environmentally friendly, it can also improve your patient care and workplace efficiency. 

There are two major fronts of the healthcare industry that provide opportunities to Eliminating Paper: communication with patients and caregivers and documentation of patient files.

Communication

Communicating with patients and staff is a heavyweight champion when it comes to paper usage. From appointment reminders to referrals to lab results to prescriptions, the list of paper documents that get used daily in the medical field is almost unending. Modern-day technology allows for the possibility to eliminate this paper waste by providing virtual alternatives such as patient portals, email and e-fax, and electronic billing.

1. Patient Portal

Patient portals are changing the face of how we handle healthcare. In fact, almost every single healthcare office in the United States now uses them. In addition to giving you the ability to go paperless by storing patient data in one place, patient portals also improve the experience of the patient by giving them access to a home healthcare hub of information and resources. This ease of access to everything from chatting with your doctor to refilling medication has also led to an increase in patient adherence to treatment plans.

2. Email and E-fax

Email and E-fax provide an alternative to handing other healthcare providers a cumbersome paper patient file. Besides being greener, electronic communication improves workflow by cutting communication time down to a fraction of a second. This is a crucial time-saver in the medical field because workers spend nearly one-third of their day searching for information according to reports. In addition to instantaneous information exchange via email, e-fax allows for data to be exchanged with traditional fax machines as well if need be.

3. Electronic Billing

For every patient that comes in, a bill must go out. That adds up to a lot of paper. This paper waste can be eliminated by implementing an electronic billing process. Not only is having patients pay online more environmentally friendly and convenient for them, but it’s also more secure. Accidentally sending a bill to the wrong address is a HIPAA violation and a breach of the patient’s trust. E-billing eliminates this possibility and paper waste at the same time.

Documentation

There are so many documents involved in healthcare, it can feel like you’re drowning in them. You could probably build a hedge maze out of all the filing cabinets you have. Digitizing that mountain of paper may seem a daunting task, but hiring professional medical record scanning services will have it done in no time. Hiring a document scanning service you trust is paramount. When searching for a medical document scanning service look for extra security measures such as key card access, video surveillance, certified HIPAA compliance, and non-disclosure agreements for staff to give you peace of mind. Still nervous about trusting someone else with your practice? This section will break down how your documents are digitized step by step so you know your files are in good hands.

1. Sending Your Documents

The first step in the process is handling your paper documents to be digitized. An expert scanning technician will work with your team to optimize this process and coordinate pick-up with a licensed, bonded driver. Alternatively, you can provide space in your office for on-site scanning if you prefer to keep your documents with you.

2. Receiving Your Documents

Once the driver arrives at the state-of-the-art, SOC 2 secure facility with your documents they are counted and labeled into inventory to ensure all documents are accounted for and organized to be easily tracked throughout the medical document scanning process.

3. Preparing Documents to Scan

During this step of the process, any paper clips, staples, or other clips are removed and damaged pages are repaired. Documents are then sorted by type using smart divider sheets with bar codes to communicate with the equipment.

4. Scanning Documents

The step you’ve been waiting for: digitization at last! One of the benefits of using professional medical record scanning services is access to top-of-the-line scanners and equipment such as high-speed sheet-fed scanners for large documents and specialized x-ray scanners. This ensures every document type is scanned in the best way to provide the highest quality image.

5. Cataloguing and Quality Check

Before being returned to you, each item is checked for flaws and legibility. Then records are cataloged according to identifying information such as patient ID, name, or date of birth.

6. Integrating and Returning

Before returning your documents to you, the process is wrapped up by formatting and uploading documents to your electronic health record system. Then your order is complete and you have successfully gone paperless! You’ll get your original paper documents back as well.

 

Going Eliminating Paper in healthcare is not an easy task, but the rewards are well worth the effort. By digitizing communication and documentation, you can save patients and the environment at the same time.