As early as 1989, clinics have been exploring paperless options as a means to save on expenses. The Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre located in Boston implemented what is likely one of the first computerized patient record systems. One clinic estimated in 1996 that they had saved $56,000 dollars in expenses since making the switch. In today’s economy, this number accounts for close to the $88,000 dollar range. Looking to save a bit on your clinic’s budget? Going paperless can save thousands of dollars a year for your practice. Online clinic management tools may be the way to go.
Many Norwegian hospitals have eliminated paper via the implementation of an electronic medical record system. Although tedious, scanning previous client records to an online database is necessary when implementing a paperless management strategy. For the Norwegian healthcare system, scanning patient records were step one to paving the way toward a paperless system.
Consequently, over a three year time period, the electronic medical record system was used by Norwegian nurses and physicians for over 50% of their tasks. The gradual inclusion of the system provided little disruption to the daily function and procedures of the hospital staff. The study pertaining to the Norwegian hospitals did note that future inclusion of the system would likely only become easier with time as the majority of the workforce would continue to be more familiar with computerized technology. However, the paperless system did provide superior organizational methods and time-saving strategies for retrieving patient information when compared to previous paper procedures.
Associated doctor walk-in clinics found electronic patient record systems to be a crucial time-saving tactic. When a patient went to a different location, they saved time by avoiding faxing pages of patient files. The electronic system was able to pull the patient file up right away with minimal time designated to calling another clinic and awaiting a response.
Further, a variety of dental offices and associated dental laboratories have also begun using paperless web content management systems to communicate more efficiently. They found it reduced miscommunication between the two locations and reduced the time spent fixing any miscommunication commonly found in older paper procedures.
Paperless methods can include a broad range of clinic management support tools which help clinics and practitioners save time and money.
Prescribed exercises for clients can even be emailed through the use of online applications, such as the Home Exercise Program by iBody Academy. The exercises can be opened anywhere via the client’s email on their cell phone. Going paperless means no lost printed exercise sheets. It also eliminates the time it takes to print out exercises for each patient.
Continuing education classes, also referred to as online CEU classes, are offered online to therapists in order to expand or brush up on their manual therapy skills. This can save critical commuting time and allow for each practitioner to complete the course in their own time. For small clinic managers specifically, this can allocate more time for other important management tasks.
For client management, online procedures are evidently becoming the new go-to for many healthcare clinics. Going paperless can reduce time spent on repetitive or mundane tasks and increase organizational methods in a clinic. Manual therapists and massage therapists alike can collaborate easier via secure online methods which can further aid in adherence to professional standards of care. Time saved enables more one-on-one time with clients, allowing for the possibility of improved services and assistance to those who need it the most. Going paperless will not happen overnight. However, starting sooner rather than later can ensure your clinic does not get left behind in today's fast paced technology age.