How Document Imaging Can Benefit the Healthcare Industry

The healthcare industry has to grapple with a lot of sensitive information of patients, and also deal with numerous stringent regulations. This is an industry that has to manage a considerable amount of information without compromising on its safety. From patients’ medical records to prescriptions, information needs to be maintained securely, but also be available for quick access to healthcare professionals.

With all the technological advancements being introduced each day, information has indeed become readily available in the modern world. As a result, healthcare professionals tend to get a larger amount of files and spend more time trying to manage these files. Fortunately, technology has also introduced ways for us to manage documents more efficiently. Document imaging is one of these ways.

What is Document Imaging?

Document imaging involves the conversion of paper documents into computer files and electronic images. There is a good number of document imaging software available and they all allow you to easily retrieve your documents within seconds. The benefits offered by a document imaging system are such that several companies and organizations all over the world are now using it in lieu of the traditional paper filing system.

Benefits of Document Imaging

These are the most notable benefits of having a document imaging system:

–          It prevents the loss of important records and documents. A while ago, an article in BioSpace spoke about China halting shipments of HIV therapy because of a missing regulatory document. That could never happen with document imaging and cloud based sharing.

–          It allows you to save a great deal of physical storage space and use it for other important purposes.

–          It helps you manage your records efficiently. SureClinical has given healthcare companies a cloud based ecosystem that helps them manage content. Collaborative cloud digital signing functionality gives clients the opportunity to adhere to EsMD or Electronic Trial Master File Standard which is a part of the US Medicare program.

–          It allows you to find, retrieve, and use documents readily.

–          It makes all important images and documents related to your business centrally available.

–          It eliminates the need for keeping a huge number of file cabinets.

–          It improves information security, as you will no longer have important documents lying around where anyone can access it.

–          It provides cost savings, as you no longer need to print a lot of paper documents, purchase or rent additional space, and maintain filing cabinets.

–          It allows you to enhance customer service, with faster response times. In a study conducted by Nuance Communications, it was found that misrouted documents, timeliness and human errors in the paper document handling process were common challenges and strengthened the case for electronic health records.

–          It allows for better disaster recovery, as you can keep backup files that ensure you’ll still have access to your documents even in the event of fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or any other disaster.

Do You Need Document Imaging?

There are several good reasons for a business to adopt document imaging. If you’re still unsure whether you need such a system or not, you may want to check if any of the following scenarios apply to you:

Important Business Documents Keep Getting Lost

Have you ever opened a file cabinet, confident that you’ll find the document you need, only to discover it missing? That can be extremely frustrating, can’t it? The frustration may even be compounded by the fact that no one remembers taking it from the file cabinet or having seen it anywhere. With a document imaging system, no one has to remove any document if they need to use it for anything, so you can be sure all documents will be there whenever you need it.

Do You or Your Staff Waste a Lot of Time Searching for Important Documents

How long does it usually take for you to find a document? How many people in your business premises search for documents on any given day? Now consider how much time is wasted each day if all of these people spent the same amount of time simply looking for documents? Even your most conservative estimates will surely be too much time wasted. With a document imaging system, you and your staff can view documents within seconds. The time saved may then be used for other important business tasks and activities, thus improving your productivity.

You Find It Almost Impossible to Properly Manage All Your Documents

You may not have realized it at the outset, but it does take a considerable amount of effort to effectively and efficiently manage a large repository of records. Now, you may be starting to realize just how much effort is needed and perhaps you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. You’ll be glad to know that with a document imaging system, you can make several copies of a document with just a click of a button, categorize and save files within seconds as they come in, and archive old files without getting up from your chair. Document management doesn’t have to make you lose your sanity. Document management will also need to take care of HIPPA compliance. Document imaging can help you comply with the range of formats laid down by HIPPA.

You’re Running Out of Storage Space and May Need to Expand Your Premises or Rent External Storage

As you file more and more paper documents, you are likely to run out of storage space in time. When this happens, most businesses either expand their premises or rent storage space and then transfer some of the files there. Needless to say, this incurs a significant amount of additional cost and storing documents elsewhere greatly reduces security. With a document imaging system, you no longer have to expand or rent. If you’re currently renting storage space, you may even get huge savings in cost once all of your documents have been transferred onto your imaging system, as you’ll no longer need the rented space.

You Regularly Need to Handle and Distribute a Huge Volume of Documents

If your business involves regularly handling documents and sending them to several people or departments, then you probably spend a great deal of time printing, photocopying, and collating paper documents. With a document imaging system, this process is made so much easier. If you only distribute documents within your business premises, you could use a networked system so documents can be made available to every single desktop computer within your offices. If you need to send documents outside your premises and you can’t do it via email, well, it’s still a lot easier to send a single CD than a truckload of paper, right?

The business environment has become very competitive. Because of this, business owners now need to focus on several things at once: customer service, profitability, employee retention, and even their competitors. In medical billing alone, document imaging can help take care of document types such as HCFA/CMS1500, ADA insurance forms and UB92 to name just a few. You can no longer afford to be burdened by problems with document management. With the right document imaging system in place, you’ll finally have a much-needed peace of mind.

Nicole Williams is a keen technology enthusiast and her work involves writing about technology and productivity. She is a professional blogger and currently writes for Micro Com Systems.

One comment on “How Document Imaging Can Benefit the Healthcare Industry”

Not all of those who are in the field of healthcare know the relevance and benefit of document imaging systems. Thanks to EMR, the continuous technological advancements have now opened a new door for those who are unaware of the benefits of document imaging, specifically Day Forward Scanning. This post is an eye opener for those who want to try efficient processing of their documents in a day’s time but lack the necessary information. For more information on document imaging, you may also like to read MPAA’s post on Smart Document Services.

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