Paperwork should never get in the way of delivering quality care to patients who expect your full attention and expertise of their health concerns. Medical care requires mountains of paperwork, including personal medical histories, charts, test results, etc. — and those are just for the purposes of care. There’s even more paperwork to manage when it comes to billing, compliance, and your overall business operation. It’s a lot to manage and worry about, especially if most of it exists as physical paper, so it’s understandable if that task distracts from your mission of providing quality care.
According to a study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, for every hour physicians spend delivering care to patients, it creates nearly two hours of paperwork within the workday. Not only does this prevent you from increasing your bandwidth for serving more patients, but it negatively affects the amount of time you can spend with your current patients.
How documents are organized in your office can be a detriment to the quality of care you provide. Being unable to quickly find an essential document or chart can result in the patient having to needlessly wait, or result in you having an incomplete health profile of the patient.
You likely didn’t become a physician for the paperwork, so if you want to get back to helping patients and delivering better quality care, you need a solution for minimizing the amount of time you spend over your desk, at your filing cabinet, or behind a computer screen. Electronic health record (EHR) systems are complex systems for handling patient records, but can often add more work to your day by requiring data to be manually input. Also, they’re limited in only being able to handle certain document types specific to treatment, meaning it’s not useful to other aspects of the organization.
Where DMS Comes in Handy
Document management software (DMS) is the preferred alternative to unwieldy EHR systems. The job of a robust DMS is to reduce the amount of paperwork in nearly any field of work, and healthcare is no exception. Intelligent organization and automation tools allow you to easily file paperwork and retrieve it instantly, dramatically cutting down on the amount of time you spend dealing with paperwork.
When dealing with both physical and digital documents, it takes time to organize and file away documents you know you’ll need to find again in the future. Extra care needs to be taken so your files aren’t misfiled. Automated filing eliminates that time needed to categorize and file a document, as well as minimizes human error.
That action of filing can be reduced to simply uploading the file and letting the system take care of the rest. Document management software can process documents with optical character recognition (OCR) and uses predesigned templates to identify the text in important fields of a standard form and records it as metadata in a document profile. Using this data, it can follow some pre-established rules for routing the document into your filing system.
For example, if you need to file an examination form, process it with the template for your standard forms so it can record the essential data from the form including patient name, address, and examination results. The template can also be programmed to route the document based on the first name and last name contained in the document. It can also automatically create a new folder in the system if the destination doesn’t exist. So if it’s a new patient and doesn’t have a folder in the system, it will create one automatically, using the identifying information you choose to like their last name.
Thanks to the same technology that allows document management to automatically file a document, the system can then find that same document instantly. Full-text search allows you to use advanced searching tools alongside OCR to ensure there’s no way to lose a document.
With full-text search, you simply have to search for the document using any text you know is contained in the file. Whether it’s the patient’s name, certain medical codes, or the date they last visited, the system will include those in your search results.
What makes document management so useful to your organization, is that other departments in the back-office like billing, accounting, and HR can make use of it for their purposes. Your system can be segmented to ensure their documents are kept separate from other departments. It can be configured to remain compliant with HIPAA and other regulations.
All the above capabilities are possible with Rubex by eFileCabinet. To see Rubex in action, click here to schedule a free, personalized demo.