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By: Stephen O'Connor

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March 9th, 2015

Why Your Paper Records are Holding You Back from Giving the Best Patient Care

Healthcare Advice

patient careLike most medical professionals, you surely have chosen this field because of a sincere desire to help people with your special skills, knowledge, and abilities and not because you were interested in organizing records and examining data about patients.

This is why it’s not so surprising that some medical organizations are stuck in the past, using antiquated paper-based systems instead of switching to a computerized process. They may be somewhat aware of the existence of software solutions but have decided that they can get by without it for now.

Obviously, doctors and nurses have been able to deliver outstanding patient care using simple filing cabinets with paper records. However, as computer technology becomes nearly ubiquitous in modern society and so many people have become accustomed to using new software and networks, the business case for switching to medical software becomes ever more compelling. Here is why your paper records are holding you back from giving your patients the best possible care.

People Get Burned Out When They Have to Fill in the Same Information Multiple Times

You should know that most patients are quite weary of having to fill out a stack of documents shoved into a clipboard when they first come to your practice. Providing the same details over and over is a waste of their time and can make people annoyed when they are already feeling uncomfortable about their illness or injury

What’s worse, after the patients fill out the paperwork, your staff will have to deal with it as well. They have to type in the same exact information for the patient’s chart, and will have to fill out more forms as they contact insurance companies over the phone to verify eligibility and other details.

Computerized systems help you cut down on such requests for duplicate information. When your patients access your practice via a computerized patient portal, they can give you the data you require much more easily. Your staff won’t have to massage this information a second time since the system will format it properly.

Who Has Access to the Files?

Access control to sensitive information about patients is critical in medical organizations. If you rely on a paper-based system, how many people do you need to authorize for key access to the locked records room and locked up filing cabinets? If one of these trusted individuals is out sick or on vacation, how many backup people do you have on staff to access these files? If a file is left out in the open, it could get misplaced or fall into the wrong hands.

With a computerized system, you can easily control who has access to which types of files, as well as audit the instances of each access to verify that only authorized personnel are seeing the data.

Streamline the Billing Process

From ascertaining a patient’s medical insurance data to entering the proper International Classification of Diseases codes, computerized systems will help your staff enormously.

With advanced software checking on your billing data, you can cut down the number of denied claims and get paid the first time much more quickly.

Making the switch from a paper-based system to a modern, computerized setup is almost inevitable these days. From communicating with insurance entities and government programs to sharing vital documents with referring specialists, computer records will let you and your staff deliver the best possible care to your patients. Failure to adopt a software solution could mean that you will see patients eventually leaving your practice for one with a more modern approach.

Key Takeaway

  • Medical software, such as electronic health record applications will prevent your staff from getting burned out because they can reduce the redundant information that needs to be recorded in your office.
  • You can control and monitor access to sensitive patient records much more easily with software.
  • Shortening the billing cycle through the use of practice management software and EHR applications will improve your cash flow and make you more competitive.

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About Stephen O'Connor

As a Director of Digital Marketing at Advanced Data Systems Corporation, Stephen spends his day's planning, writing, & designing resources for the modern healthcare professional. He has a strong affinity for snow crab legs, the ocean, and Rutgers Football.

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