How can going paperless help minimize costs in your therapy practice

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
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Introduction

Deciding to go paperless in your healthcare business is one of the best decisions you can make. Although this process requires the implementation of sophisticated software, going paperless will lead to a wide range of different benefits, including allowing you to set the right prices for your services, creating an appealing telehealth brand, and improving organization, communication, and clinical outcomes. In this guide, we’re going to outline both the advantages and challenges associated with going paperless and provide a step-by-step guide to help you reach this point and generate growth and improvement within your business!

Benefits of going paperless

There are a multitude of benefits that your practice will experience if you go paperless, including the following:

Access records whenever you want

Choosing to go paperless means all of your records will be stored online, where they can be accessed at any time and from any place. Additionally, effective EHR systems have been proven to improve both communication and clinical outcomes, leading to a better quality of care.

Saves time and money

Your business will be able to save lots of time, as you no longer need to handwrite documentation after patient sessions, and accessing records can be completed with a single click. You can also eliminate the costs associated with buying hardcopy documentation and storage facilities.

Clean and green way

As the burden on our environment is getting more and more difficult to manage, finding ways to be sustainable as a business has never been more important - and going paperless is one of the best ways to do this.

Cleaner office

Storing hard copy documents can be complicated and messy. Filing cabinets get in disarray, and busy practitioners don’t often have time to clean the office. With your documentation stored online, you can eliminate these challenges and ensure your workspace is consistently clean and organized.

Better overall practice management

Using EHR systems has been shown to improve accessibility and communication, allowing you to improve the overall management operations within your business. This in turn benefits certain processes, including patient waitlisting, compliance, billing, and general documentation.

Provides digital receipts

EHR systems generate digital receipts which can be sent to patients, who can consequently pay for the services they received. This not only reduces the workload of administrative staff but also helps to streamline the billing process.

Data security 

Managing data security and patient privacy laws is a big factor in handling clinical documentation. Going paperless helps to improve privacy by eliminating the risk of records being lost or stolen, and you can implement stricter encryption and physical security measures.

Challenges of going paperless

Despite the evident benefits of going paperless, it would be remiss of us not to also mention certain challenges.

Huge volume of paperwork to be digitized

Firstly, there will likely be a huge amount of paperwork that needs to be digitized, particularly if your business has been around for a while. Every document needs to be scanned and uploaded into the electronic system, which takes both time and effort.

Resistance from staff

Unfortunately, there will always be staff members who don’t want to change the way things work. This is a tricky challenge to navigate, as you will want to do what is best for your business without compromising your professional relationships. One of the best ways to mitigate reluctance is to introduce training programs that help ease any stresses or concerns regarding the new system.

Huge cost

Although the long-term payoff will outweigh the initial cost, there are definitely expenses involved in going paperless. You will need to either hire a document scanning company or do all of this work yourself, invest in a high-functioning EHR system, and allocate significant amounts of time to complete these tasks.

Step-by-step guide to transition to a paperless practice

When considering going paperless, it can really help to have an understanding of what this process will look like. Although each business will manage this in a different way, we’ve compiled a brief guideline that takes you through each necessary step.

Plan the transition

Unsurprisingly, step one is to plan the transition. You need to sit down with your management staff and talk through what going paperless looks like for your business, and what you need to do to achieve this goal.

Adopt a practice management software

Practice management software will be your greatest ally in this change. You will need to research different available systems and identify which one best suits your practice. Although this will have a cost attached, the right software will help streamline almost all of your administrative processes and improve the overall management of your business.

Use a portable electronic device like a tablet

Investing in tablets for your staff will help make the paperless process go smoothly. Tablets are less clunky than laptops and they allow practitioners to make notes during sessions without seeming rude to their patients - they are also good for the environment!

Transfer your paperwork to the cloud

This is definitely the step that will take the most time. You need to scan all of your records and upload them into the system. It is critical that during this process you don’t lose or damage any records, and that they are filed in an appropriate and accessible way.

Allow for a productivity dip

Unfortunately, any big change within a business will initially lead to a productivity dip. Your staff may be unfamiliar with using the technology and the system could take a little time to get used to, so you should allow for these changes to have an impact. Nevertheless, after the new system has been in place for a certain period of time, productivity should increase and your business will not only get back on track but will be in a better place than when they were using outdated paper methods.

Train your staff to use the new system

In order to minimize the likelihood of decreased productivity, you need to implement training programs. These can help staff navigate the new system easily, and feel more confident in their abilities.

Use Carepatron practice management software to go paperless

As we mentioned, practice management software will be your greatest ally when it comes to going paperless. Although there is a wide range of different systems available, we definitely recommend you look into Carepatron. Carepatron’s practice management software uses sophisticated and modern technology to streamline various administrative tasks, including clinical documentation and storage, medical billing, patient communication, and appointment scheduling. Each of these different tools has been specifically designed with healthcare workers in mind, and you will not only find that all of your needs are met but your processes are made much more efficient. The software is used by over 10,000 healthcare professionals working in a range of different fields, indicating the diverse applicability of Carepatron. Looking into the varied benefits that healthcare businesses have experienced after implementing Carepatron’s practice management software reveals improvements in the physical environment of workplaces, a reduction in difficult patients, faster reimbursements, more accurate documentation, and the facilitation of patient loyalty. What’s not to love!

Paperless Health Records, digital forms, notes, and billing. Get Carepatron for free today
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