Paperless workplaces are becoming increasingly common. From digital receipts in retail to online check-in for aviation, the paperless business is the business of the future.
What it means to run a paperless medical practice
Going paperless in healthcare means moving to a digital or cloud practice management system. While it may not be possible to go 100% paperless yet, as in Australia paper often serves as the best form of communication between clinics, hospitals and labs, there are steps medical practices can take to significantly reduce the amount of paper used.
At the most basic level, the following tasks and services can be made paperless in a medical practice:
– Billing & receipting, including Medicare claims
– Letter management
– Writing and sharing clinical notes
– Managing and booking appointments
– Prescribing medications
– Ordering tests
– Receiving incoming documentation from referrals and other practices
How going paperless could work for your practice
From a practice management point of view, there are many benefits to going paperless including:
- Simplification of day-to-day tasks: Managing accounts, invoices and claims to Medicare online becomes quick, flexible and all centrally located.
- Centralisation of all documents: Patient records, referrals and charts can all be accessed with the click of a button. Simultaneously, sending patient details and referrals to other practitioners and specialists is also easy.
- Increased file security: Not only are records less likely to be lost or misplaced, digital and cloud practice management offer extra layers of security.
- Positive environmental impact: Reducing paper in the workplace ensures your practice can have a positive environmental impact.
What to consider when going paperless
If you’re thinking of taking your practice paperless, there are a few things to consider. It’s important that all staff — not only reception staff — have the time for professional development when learning about new paperless technologies and are fully comfortable with the system before it is officially implemented. This may take anywhere from weeks to months.
Practice computers will need to be powerful enough to manage the suite of electronic data your practice stores and receives. All documents will also need to be backed up, either offsite on hardware or online in the cloud. This also means that a fast and secure internet connection is essential.
Learn more: Discover how we protect your data in the cloud
How to go paperless
At Genie Solutions, one of our main goals is to help medical practitioners improve health outcomes for their patients through streamlined practice management. Our desktop or cloud technologies will take the guesswork out of the transition.
As with any workplace changes, introducing a new process or system is best done gradually. Investing time and resources into a paperless office strategy will pay dividends when it comes to the transition.
- Desktop or Cloud? Start by determining whether a desktop system like Genie, or a cloud system like Gentu is better suited to your practice. If your practice employs practitioners, specialists and reception staff who work in multiple locations, a cloud system may be preferable. However, if you run a large, complex practice with many practitioners, a desktop system may be better suited to the incoming volume of documentation and requests.
- Train all staff. Invest in training your staff on how to use all elements of the new system. This will ensure the entire team can comfortably access information in the instance that another member of staff may be ill or out of office.
- Start with electronic prescribing. This is the easiest first change. Then, you’ll be able to move onto other orders before transitioning to the digitisation of all medical records. Hiring someone to convert records and charts may also be beneficial for your team.
- Lastly, bring your patients on board. This ensures that any glitches in the workflow of your team have been ironed out first. You may also like to train your patients on new sign in functionality or booking appointment features.
To learn more about how Genie Solutions can help take your practice to a paperless one and make your practice management easier, click here.