Article written by Stephanie Onofri
When I think of choosing automation solutions for medical records management I imagine it a bit like the old saying “like shooting fish in a barrel.” While I’ve personally never shot fish in a barrel, I know that if various solutions for electronic document management were dumped in a barrel, it really wouldn’t matter where you shoot: whatever you score will almost certainly be a winning optimization tool. But healthcare industries that are new to document automation might want to be more selective and begin with the most elementary and crucial tools to patient care optimization.
Scanning, storage, and access: these are the A,B,C’s of document automation and they work to effectively reduce departmental costs, cut process time, and vastly improve patient care.
The betterment of the patient is the goal of medical providers, and in order for this to occur medical institutions are responsible for maintaining accurate and updated patient records to accurately diagnose and treat ailments. While it seems convenient to carry a data on a clipboard around, updating paper records can prove challenging, with medical personnel often having to chase only a single copy of a patient’s records around a facility, delaying the updates and potentially jeopardizing the patient/provider relationship. Many medical industry leaders have implemented electronic document management systems that allow this sort of documentation to be accessed at anytime from anywhere, while allowing for real-time updates and edits to existing patient data.
Let’s take a closer look at how these A,B,C’s of document automation improve existing patient records processes:
It speaks for itself, right? Well, maybe not. Scanning isn’t just about uploading electronic documents; in the realm of cutting edge document automation, scanning also includes the process by which the automation system usesintelligent capture or OCR to recognize the characters of a scanned document and transform them into searchable keywords.
Once a patient record is uploaded into a system, it can be stored under any criteria set in place by the provider. These documents are kept safe in compliance with HIPAA requirement through system controls tailored to the provider’s need.
By far the niftiest of these three is the ability to access patient records by simply entering keywords into the system retrieval search bar. Not only does this cut exponential time that is otherwise spent chasing after paper, but it also allows the provider to set security controls that only allow authorized medical staff or departments to access said patient records. For example, an Accounts Receivable department might only be allowed to access documentation regarding patient health insurance and the like, while a physician might only be allowed to access records relating the medial history and diagnostics.
In addition to the mentioned benefits, these tools cover a slew of other bases such as ensuring the recovery of patient records in case of natural disasters and the reducing the amount of storage space required for paper records. So while shooting fish in a barrel might score you dinner, the A,B,C’s of document automation score medical industry leaders the whole lot.
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