I was playing Twister with a nimble young friend from Ricoh the other day when I pulled a muscle trying to get to red. I told her how much I hate going to the doctor because of all the paperwork you have to fill out. "Well then," she said, "Give this to your doc, Doc." And she handed me a new white paper from Ricoh on how medical practices can move to digital record keeping.
The paper concludes, among many other things, that:
In many medical offices, paper-related inefficiencies can sidetrack medical professionals, delay reimbursement and even compromise care. More efficient management of paper documents would not only streamline workflow and reduce operating costs; it could improve the patient experience as well.
In the ideal paperless world, healthcare professionals would be able to practice in an environment that enables these benefits:
- A better patient experience. Patients primarily spend their visit with caregivers, and less time with intake, waiting for physicians who are behind schedule, or dealing with follow-up issues because of poor documentation. Errors and delays related to prescriptions, physician orders, patient records, and reimbursement are reduced.
- Higher quality of care. Providers meet a high standard of patient care. Complete and accurate patient files decrease opportunities for mistakes, omissions, or duplicated treatments. Physicians can securely access files from home, the hospital or other offices, promoting greater continuity of care.
- Enhanced medical staff productivity. Physicians and other medical staff now spend more of their time providing face-to-face care because office workflow is less disrupted due to missing, misfiled, and incomplete files. They can see more patients, spend more time with patients, or devote saved time to other productive activities.
- Improved office efficiency. Healthcare organizations are able to eliminate duplication of effort and administrative delays. Less administrative staff time and space are devoted to records management, and less manual data entry reduces the risk of errors.
And we all know the Doc is in favor of improved medical care and a reduction of paper consumption.