Document management systems are rising in popularity across all industries as they keep documents secure, organized, and automated. They are becoming imperatives in healthcare as well, particularly as legislation, privatization, and direct care measures require industry changes.
A New Wave of Health Information Technology (HIT): Document Management Systems
Sometimes old legislation imposes challenges that take the affected industry years, or even decades, to overcome.
For example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the Stimulus Act), incentivized technology implementation and usage in the healthcare sector.
This stimulus plan had some benefits as more businesses incorporated technology into their daily processes. One fallback of the plan was the failure to specify which technologies mattered most in facilitating the digital change the industry needed.
The oversight here was choosing to rely on systems that failed to implement standardization in document storage and communications across a health network.
As a result, EMR and EHR solutions outpaced DMS adoption in the healthcare industry, leading to disarray and even further information chaos. Not only are EMRs clunky and difficult to use, they create substantial and disruptive learning curves for hospital administrators and healthcare providers alike that can limit productivity.
Some years later, the healthcare industry is still struggling to reach a consensus on appropriate IT infrastructure and, much like the accounting industry, is investigating cloud-based solutions.
Exploring cloud platform options not only dismantles EMR solutions as the reigning IT champ in healthcare, it paves a path to reducing the cost of care without triggering burnout in healthcare providers across the industry.
How Technology Conquers Staffing Shortages and Other Legislative Challenges
The Affordable Care Act imposed several key challenges for healthcare providers. Although it had a positive impact in making healthcare services available to a greater number of citizens, it placed a significant strain on the existing resources of primary care providers.
Essentially, as healthcare became more accessible, the providers within the clinic and hospital systems struggled to keep pace with the demand that followed, and understandably so. Hiring more healthcare providers isn’t easy, especially when their skills are scarce and a shortage of healthcare workers persists in the American economy.
As the demand for care rose, so did the stress of healthcare providers. This legislative change promoted a new wave of forward-thinking strategy on how healthcare practitioners could manage protected health information (PHI). Finding an effective way to manage this information would increase efficiency and security while simultaneously reducing the stressors of increased access to healthcare.
Document management systems offer a method for continuing the healthcare provider efficiency gained during the years of the Affordable Care Act.
When applied to solving real healthcare problems, these systems can provide the efficiency needed to not just overcome the administrative setbacks of the Affordable Care Act, but also provide greater access to inter-facility training and employee development.
How Document Management Systems Positively Impact Locum Tenens
Given staffing shortages, modes of providing patient care, such as locum tenens physicians and nurses, are becoming more sophisticated and organized.
There are even organizations tasked solely with providing locum tenens opportunities to physicians looking to travel and healthcare facilities looking to fill staffing needs during the summertime or over the holidays.
There is such a wide variety of EMRs and EHRs that many locum tenens physicians with extensive experience using different programs simply fail to understand how to use the solutions effectively, immediately putting a hold on workplace productivity.
Couple this with the inherent clunky-ness and usability issues, and you have a disaster waiting to happen—no matter how skilled the provider may be in his or her area of expertise. If they can’t use the technology properly, they’ll face new challenges as compliance issues arise.
The solutions to this issue entail finding a simpler solution than an EMR or EHR when attempting to weave locum tenens staffing into the normal, everyday routines and practices of a healthcare facility.
Learning to do these things is the most effective when done sooner rather than later. As is the case with most rapidly changing industries, it sets the tone for change that will help facilities get ahead. This truism is especially real given the degree to which privatization and competition has gripped the healthcare industry.
Handling Medical Supplies Price Fluctuations
One of the benefits of effective information management in healthcare clinics involves relying on solutions that will prevent these facilities from hemorrhaging money in the form of opportunity costs.
A major opportunity cost on the supply side of the healthcare industry involves being unable to adapt to price inflation with new direct care technologies.
If a clinic does not use document management systems to reduce administrative costs, the increase in price of direct care technologies will be economically unobtainable for smaller clinics providing more tailored, personal care.
This scenario illustrates how cost adjustments and pricing models are an extremely delicate balance in the healthcare industry, but can be leveraged appropriately with the right solutions in place.
A Flaw in the HIMSS’s Outpatient EMR Adoption Model
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, with its EHR adoption initiative, uses algorithms to score hospitals according to certain guidelines in IT adoption, and EMRs are the baseline solution suggested.
The problem with the model is that the importance of digitization is obvious, but what should happen with information once it’s digitized is unclear.
This is a key component of where document management systems pick up where EMR drops the ball.
Paper-based healthcare environments have been proven to detract from positive patient experiences, resulting in a lower quality of care and a greater risk of a data breach.
A lack of clarity on the most effective technological structures frequently results in digital information chaos—which is just as damaging to information efficiency as the paper-based healthcare models EMRs were designed to overcome—especially when clear parameters aren’t set in stone for what collaboration, sharing, and security features should entail in selected clinic solutions.
To have an effective IT adoption, EMRs should have effective disaster recovery and mitigation efforts in place. Unfortunately, EMRs aren’t known for having this. On the other hand, document management systems commonly handle disaster recovery effortlessly and in the most cost-effective way possible.
Learn more about the top healthcare document management system and how it can improve your daily processes by scheduling a demo today.