sourceaditya: 10 Reasons for Doctors to be IT friendly and go paperless (well almost)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10 Reasons for Doctors to be IT friendly and go paperless (well almost)

Healthcare is a business which requires the noting down of large amount of information, transfer of data and making decisions which are again to be captured. So, I guess it is safe to assume that it is a very paper and pen intensive domain, where patient information, reports and daily interaction all happen on paper. Looking at just this one aspect, it becomes clear that IT can play a major part in driving Healthcare if done right.

So what is the downside to all this paper work? I mean haven’t people been doing it for donkeys years. Paper health records have been kept diligently since a century or more, but technology can not only improve the documentation and storage but also improve processes and speed in making, storing, accessing and using this information. So the 10 reasons why a medical setup should become IT friendly in the paperless space are:

1. Be eco-friendly: Less paper used = more trees saved. Extend your care beyond just your clientele.

2. Storage space: Save money on storage space for large number of records and paper based data. As technology improves cost of data storage goes down and that of physical space goes up.

3. Quick retrieval: Retrieve stored, archived data faster on your PC then from filing cabinet. That’s a straight forward challenge. However much data you may have, whatever the number of records, a simple search will help you access the record within seconds. No more walking down dusty aisles of records or browsing through a clutter of files in your cabinet.

4. All Information at your tips: Just today an orthopedic surgeon complained of not having information of the bone replacement he had done for a patient who needs to get it replaced. Certainly makes life tough for the doctor and risky for the patient. So why not go paperless, all your data on your PC, server, backed up at as many places till you feel safe. Information is valuable, and also how quickly can you get it, access information for a patient or an administrative report instantly on your software.

5. Sharing Data seamlessly: Communication is becoming the cornerstone of society. People travel, people use their phones and the internet and the crowd grows by the minute. Getting or giving information which will help make better decisions about a person’s health is a positive outcome of this boom. Its time you got on the band wagon too. Share your e-records with your peers and patients to improve service quality. Improve your productivity by sharing your administrative information and reports with your CA, vendors, pharmacies, pharma companies.

6. Less Chaos: A large setup usually has paper work flowing around the hospital or medical center, usually resulting in a flood. Imagine a place where there is no clutter. A clean and paper reduced office certainly improves the setup outlook. Not to mention more work gets done when you don’t have to sort through and find records.

7. Increased Capacity: A faster records access, storage and retrieval system gives you and your staff more time. It increases efficiency allowing you to spend more time with your patients, and if the word spreads how efficient your setup is, then maybe even see more patients.

8. Do More: Electronic information traditionally allows you to do more with the data you have. Run multiple reports; create informative statistics which help you improve your clinic. Learn how you can improve your business by using resources better. With paper there is only so much data you can sift through. Why work so hard to get what your PC will do for you in seconds. And give it a chance, trust me there are things which you can’t even imagine that your PC might be able to do.

9. Pay Less: Pay less, because what you spend on the becoming IT friendly is certainly less than what you would cumulatively spend on paper, staff, storage and decreased productivity over time.

10. Look Cool: Nice looking software, with some neat PCs, offering efficient service, quality time, and innovative solutions goes a long way in impressing patients. Also with the decreased paper work, the office looks neater and a place you wouldn’t mind spending time at.

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