The Medical Industry’s Biggest Frustration

by James Devonshire

At a time when all eyes are on the medical industry and delivering care that affords only the best outcomes for patients is paramount, efficiency has never been more of the essence. Yet, many healthcare facilities still rely on paper-based medical records and other documents, which consume space and create inefficiencies.

Gathering Documents: The Time Sink

The main issue with paper-based medical documents is the inefficiency they cause. 

According to one study, the results of which are published in Sage Open Medicine, the activity that hospital doctors and nurses thought wastes the most time was paper-based documentation. The nurses polled estimated that 16%-30% of time wasted was preventable. In contrast, the doctors estimated 18%–34% – both of which highlight the significant potential efficiency savings that could be made if paper-based medical documentation was replaced with an electronic alternative.

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Most hospitals are large, sprawling spaces with lots of different departments located throughout them. The physical layout alone makes document management challenging and that’s before you even consider the enormous number of documents that hospitals have!

Imagine the logistics and time involved when an admin employee has to gather and print documents for a doctor or other medical professional ahead of a consultation. The two individuals could be separated by many floors and knowing where the other is could result in delays occurring.

Now picture the difference if the admin employee was able to quickly gather all the documents electronically and queue them for printing with a few clicks. Having been queued for them, the medical professional can then print said documents at a printer of their choosing, anywhere in the hospital.

Medical professionals don’t need or want to be wasting their time with paper-based documents. As if searching through to find the correct record wasn’t bad enough, said record then inevitably needs to be taken to where it is needed, which could be on the other side of the hospital/care facility.

By taking the information of all departments and providing staff with ways to securely access and deliver documents through print or digital – regardless of physical location – hospitals can significantly reduce their inefficiency.

Stop Wasting Critical Time on Something That Can Be Automated

The good news for the medical industry is that there is an intuitive alternative to paper-based records. By automating the collection of documents and making everything a medical professional needs to care for a patient available at the click of a button, crucial time and effort can be saved.

With an Output Management solution, organizations can fully automate and centralize the management of their important documents. Documents can be accessed with the click of a button through a variety of digital channels, making gathering the correct information significantly quicker and easier. Furthermore, documents can be digitally shared between compatible electronic medical record (EMR) systems, facilitating greater efficiency, collaboration, and accountability.

A study published in the FPM journal highlights some of the benefits of replacing paper-based documents with electronic ones. According to the research, “Practices using an EHR [electronic health record] did note that it had improved accuracy in lab test ordering, patient medication lists, and coding and billing and decreased walking distance and ‘chart chasing time’ for medical assistants (MAs).”

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Final Thoughts

The bottom line is paper-based medical documentation is a time sink. And when you are working in a field as critical as the medical industry, saving time can literally translate to saving people.

By implementing an Output Management solution, medical facilities can reduce their staff’s time gathering and collating paper-based documentation.

Speak with an expert at SEAL Systems to learn how to save critical time by automating your process.

[Related reading: Life Sciences Manufacturing: How To Avoid Production Delays]
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