While moving to Electronic Health Records (EHR) solves many healthcare challenges, it has also introduced some new roadblocks. Most complaints stem around the amount of time required to enter and manage the EHRs. A study from Family Medicine found that family providers spend about 18.6 minutes on EHR documentation compared to 16.5 minutes interacting with the patient.
Many healthcare organizations already using EHRs are moving to digital record management, such as a Document Management System (DMS), to make EHRs easier to use. Organizations still using paper documentation often deploy a DMS system when moving to EHR to remove some issues from the start.
DMS is a digital system that assists in the creation, storage, transmission and security of electronic health records. Providers use the tool to manage the EHRs, automate tasks and create workflows. Healthcare organizations typically save money and improve efficiency by using a DMS. Even more importantly, DMS can also improve the quality of care provided to patients. Here are five ways DMS can improve patient care:
More time to spend with patients
Managing records, whether electronic or paper, requires many manual tasks. With a DMS, providers can automate many of these tasks. One of the biggest time savers with a DMS is using the advanced workflow integration feature. Documents can be assigned to the correct individuals or departments for processing and approval in seconds. This frees up a considerable amount of time, giving staff more time to focus on patient care. With more time to develop a relationship and receive focused care, patient satisfaction typically increases. Because healthcare providers went into the field to help people get well, rather than spending hours on paperwork, provider satisfaction often improves as well.
Oversee HIPAA compliance
Patient privacy is a big part of providing great care. A DMS helps organizations comply with HIPAA compliance, which frees up even more time and may reduce the likelihood of HIPAA fines. DMS uses encryption, access control and authentication, which improve the confidentiality of data. Integrity of data is ensured through digital signatures and checksums. Through data-backup, either on-site or off, DMS also fulfills the HIPAA requirement regarding the availability of data.
Providers have access to information when needed
In healthcare, minutes—and even seconds—can make a difference in a patient’s life. Looking for patient health history information can take valuable time that can impact patient care. A DMS system lets providers retrieve documents extremely fast. Instead of hunting in the back storage room for archived records, providers can also access this information in the same amount of time.
Accessible from virtually any location
Paper documentation can only be viewed in a single location. And EHRs can only be viewed using the vendor’s system. This becomes challenging when sharing information from multiple locations or providers. Mergers also become more complicated. Through a document management system, providers have greater interoperability and accessibility to patient information.
Reduces human errors
Every time a person completes a task, the possibility of an error is introduced. When it comes to healthcare, errors can not only be costly in time, but for a patient’s health. Automating tasks with a DMS reduces those possibilities and improves the health of the patient. Resolving non-clinical errors, such a billing issues, can cause patients increased stress and take significant time. Because reducing stress can help improve many chronic issues, this further improves the overall patient experience.
Healthcare is centered around providing the best possible care for every patient. By using a DMS, organizations can take the level of care they provide to an even higher level and know that they are doing the best for each person who walks through the door.
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