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Document Management for Healthcare

Why Your Medical Office Needs Digital Document Management

Strict security regulations and the inherent urgency of healthcare make document management software a requirement to maintain an effective practice.

February 22, 2024

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Refocus on patient care while your data works for you.

It is no secret that paperwork is a burden for medical offices. Patient histories, privacy policy disclosures, lab results, invoices, and more make for piles of documents for every patient. This is precisely why so many medical offices are switching to digital record keeping: it frees up space and streamlines patient care.

But simply going paperless is not always enough. Locking documents in one computer, or even one system of computers, can prevent important information from reaching the right people, and data losses and privacy breaches can be catastrophic. However, the right document management software can be your secret weapon, eliminating risk, empowering better document control, and enhancing patient care.

Paperless documents and patient care

Ready access to as much information about a patient’s medical history as possible is one of the fundamental requirements of good healthcare. Digital record keeping allows healthcare professionals to quickly locate patient history information and keep years’ worth of charts and notes in a centralized location. But keeping all the digital records in only one computer or computer system is almost as limiting as hard copies if only one or two people can see them at a time.

Patients whose healthcare demands the attention of several specialists, such as diabetes and cancer patients, depend on collaboration among a team of doctors. Limiting digital storage to one location can make cooperation between these doctors difficult, and patient care can suffer. Sending digital copies can risk privacy breaches, and printing off physical documents defeats the purpose of going digital.

Document management for healthcare allows records to be accessed from anywhere by anyone with approval at any time. This cuts down on costly delays, fosters collaboration, and gives doctors the precise information they need when they need it. All the space-saving and long-term benefits of digital storage are coupled with maximum accessibility to eliminate the remaining shortcomings of a digital system.

Accurate and up-to-date records are also crucial for continuity of care, and maintaining an audit trail allows medical professionals to see who has accessed records and what changes have been made. Version control and leveraging metadata such as timestamps are components of a strong DMS that enable ultimate transparency, and luckily, for busy staff, they can be done automatically.

Document security and compliance

Because of patient privacy requirements, medical offices looking for a digital document management system must carefully choose software that guarantees maximum security. A system prioritizing document security will ensure that everyone who requires access will have it while guaranteeing patient records don’t end up in the hands of those who may abuse them.

Medical offices should also choose a system that aligns with their complex documentation needs. HIPAA-compliant document management, which allows for integration with other applications such as word processors and bookkeeping tools, is an important consideration.

A digital filing system with built-in encryption and certifications will ensure that, at every step of the way, the healthcare provider is in full compliance with government and industry regulations.

Driving cost and time savings

The benefits of an effective document management system extend beyond just storage. For healthcare professionals, a smart workflow means they can quickly find and retrieve information. Medical records should always be readily available, but a physical file can only be in one place at one time, which can result in inefficiencies.

In a digital system, multiple departments can access the same record simultaneously without having to photocopy any files. The billing department can update payment information while healthcare employees update medical data.

Research found that for small to medium businesses, investing in digital document management returns $8.55 in benefits per dollar spent. A DMS minimizes manual data entry of patient and billing information with automation and smart processing. This means one employee can import and index thousands of pages a day. No more hunting for documents or endless hours transcribing information.

The right DMS will also allow medical offices to get up and running fast with easy training, intuitive interfaces, and dedicated support.

Optimized workflows and a better patient experience

Medical offices stand to benefit tremendously from the correct document management system. Once they have switched to the appropriate software, they will enjoy the greater convenience and security of the new system.

Converting paper files into a digital platform may seem daunting, especially for practices with such high volumes of patient records. Still, a HIPAA-compliant document management system will make the transition easier while keeping it cost-effective. Investing in a digital DMS produces a quick ROI and promotes efficiency across offices and specialties.

When it comes to healthcare, results matter most. Put your data to work so you can exceed expectations, support your staff, and deliver the best possible care for your patients.