Dwight Schrute, one of our favorite characters from NBC’s The Office, put it bluntly: “One of the greatest things about modern America is the computerization of medical records.”
While Dwight’s intentions would certainly violate today’s HIPAA regulations, we still agree with the sentiment. Electronic medical and health records, when managed properly, offer benefits all around—for patients, medical facility employees, and the practice as a whole. Electronic document management systems allow medical practices to automate, capture, store, and disseminate records. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of electronic document management systems for medical practices.
Benefits of SaaS Electronic Document Management for Medical Offices
Privacy and Evolving Requirements
Balancing accessibility and privacy of patient information is critical for medical practices. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the goal of the HIPAA Privacy Rule is “to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being…the Rule is designed to be flexible and comprehensive to cover the variety of uses and disclosures that need to be addressed.”
While HIPAA regulations haven’t seen a large overhaul since 2013, that may change soon. In fact, the HIPAA Journal reports that there are expected to be several HIPAA changes in 2021 as OCR has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in December 2020 that outlines several changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
Adopting a SaaS (Software as a Service) model for your medical practice’s document management needs allows your business to adapt more easily to evolving compliance requirements. With a SaaS product, critical updates can be made to the software by your provider and then pushed up to your system, requiring minimal downtime and no additional internal IT resources. This model of electronic document management ensures that your software can stand the test of time and help you stay in compliance through it all.
Electronic document management provides a single source of truth for each record, which helps prevent mistakes that can occur during data entry and other like activities. It can save time for medical practice employees, since electronic document management reduces the need for redundant tasks or duplicate paperwork. This is especially relevant for practices that often transfer or release information between offices.
All of the benefits described above help team members in medical offices increase their productivity and spend more time on activities that contribute value to the practice and its patients. The resulting boost in team efficiency can lead to lower turnover and better patient outcomes.
Better Patient Experience and Outcomes
Just as medical office employees likely don’t enjoy filling out duplicate paperwork, patients can also view it as a hassle, especially when visiting multiple locations of the same medical practice. Electronic document management, as we mentioned, allows for information to be transferred easily and securely between offices. This can also help reduce patient waiting times, which is another key metric of patient satisfaction.
Electronic, “single source of truth” documents containing patients’ health and medical records also ensure that all physicians involved in the patient’s care are informed and on the same page. This means better patient safety and increased confidence in the agreed upon treatment plan.
An electronic document management system with compliance safeguards baked in helps reduce the risks of HIPAA violations. Ensuring that all providers access the same, accurate information during treatment can also help guard against litigation risks.
Select the Right Integrator for Your Medical Practice
A SaaS partner like QFlow Systems can also help you connect your electronic document management system with other important line of business softwares for even more efficiency gains. For example, connecting your medical document management system with billing software can increase accuracy and reduce paperwork for your team.
If you’re interested in better document management for your medical practice, we can help! We have a long history of experience serving large medical organizations with complex needs, and we can easily customize our flexible framework to help your practice overcome its current challenges. Connect with a QFlow expert today to get started!