An Electronic Document management solution (EDMS) is a clear winner as a solution for challenges hospitals face when handling medical records. We are highlighting the top 5 reasons why any hospital should opt for an EDMS:

1. To have an efficient and a cost effective solution

To get the relevant documents and information when required without wasting time and effort is of paramount importance in the health care arena. By viewing a medical document, different doctors can take a consultative and collective decision in any critical situation irrespective of where he is. Paper archives are extremely time-consuming to be your source of information in the long run. Not only is it difficult to fetch information from a physical document library (especially an off-site one) but also causes a whole range of tasks connected to a business process to queue up, leading to activities getting delayed and possible cost escalations. You may not feel the pinch during good times; but during an economic downturn, having invested in an EDMS can mean lower costs when it matters most. In short for efficiency improvement and to provide a collaborative means of working an EDMS is a must.

2. To avoid Data theft / Loss of data by securing the same

Trust but verify – Knowing who accessed what and when, is a big deal when we talk of compliance.While this may sound complicated, the fact is that information management today is more accessible than ever. Keeping an audit trail and giving the correct level of access to the right people is mandatory for any EDMS. Access control for healthcare documents is a mandatory exercise which needs to be structured with utmost care. Specific modifications can be locked out for certain users based on the hospital’s requirement. Organisations should not only adhere to the compliance requirements but also should ensure that none of the documents / information is lost or misused. In the situations where patient insurance details are misused to avail false claims it is a must to protect the data / documents from falling into the wrong hands. Having documents in the soft form also helps in maintaining backups so that in case of natural calamities or systemic failure the data is protected.

3. To avoid delinquencies in managing medical records

The requirements for timely medical record completion are well established in the law and through industry accreditation standards. Insurance companies and governmental payment programs may generally deny reimbursement if medical records are not complete when a claim is processed for payment. Good patient care requires the timely completion of medical records. Unless the latest documentation is included in a patient’s chart, it is unlikely that the chart will reflect what the practitioner knows and the treatment that was provided on the day that he evaluated the patient. Patient care errors can occur if medical records are incomplete when additional care is required. The medical staff rules and regulations of most hospitals have provisions which allow for the warning and then take disciplinary actions on practitioners who do not comply with the requirements for the timely completion of medical records. By having a good EDMS solution in place the MRD person would easily able to identify if any important document is missing for a patient by simply glancing through the patient document details.

4. To provide better patient satisfaction and have a competitive edge

Having an EDMS in place will bring dramatic improvement to respond to any requests from patients or insurance companies efficiently and effectively. These benefits are derived from the fact that accurate information about each episode of care and related patient and financial information is organized and stored in the system and accessible within seconds. Relevant users can verify billing, dispute erroneous claims and respond to any other questions while the person is waiting on the phone because all of the information is right there at their finger tips. The organization derives straight-line return on investment from its ability to answer questions on a single call-saving the cost of returning telephone calls. Customer service will be improved substantially by using a EDMS without doubt. A few small lapses in levels of customer service may not be too detrimental. But when the hospital’s medical record management policy (or lack of it) leads to a serious strategic or tactical error, it could result in the hospital’s reputation being seriously tarnished. This can jeopardize the hospital’s position in the market in the long term and have a cascading effect on other areas of operation.

5. To focus on your core business

Being busy with the mundane work doesn’t give any employee job satisfaction nor learning. Enormous amount of effort and energy may currently be spent in finding the relevant document when a doctor asks for some reports or insurance company ask for some set of documents. Instead of spending that time on searching documents, employees could spend time on quality work like improving performance of the department, reduce the billing cycle, streamline TPA activities etc. By focusing on quality work, the overall efficiency of the organisation would be improved and employees would feel the pride of working for the organisation.

To help manage the barrage of paper and medical records associated with patients, vendors etc. investing in a good EDMS software is the best option which could integrate with the existing software including the HIMS system in place. The last thing you want to do with your new document management system is spend precious staff time doing backfile conversion. Leave that to the professionals and focus on your business.

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