Around the country, communities are celebrating the healthcare professionals who are putting their lives on the line during the COVID-19 crisis. Many families have to practice social isolation if one or more of their parents work in medical facilities or hospitals. While many reports show that access to essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is vital for providing care during the crisis, the digital infrastructure in hospitals remains just as important.
Healthcare professionals and administrators do their best to be prepared for specific situations. A pandemic is one of those events that require proactive planning. These plans, usually residing in a document, are now critical to hospital operations. If the facility doesn’t already have an electronic document management solution, informing staff and ensuring compliance can be challenging.
The Importance of Document Management in the Medical Supply Chain
Even during normal circumstances, providing effective care to patients relies on an efficient document management process. The records and files move with patients through the facility and beyond. Everyone from the insurance provider to the dispensary depends on accurate information delivered timeously to save people’s lives. During a pandemic, it’s clear that these systems are critical to reducing the burden on individuals already overworked and exhausted.
Document Management Services is a way for hospitals to streamline their processes, control their documents, and efficiently deliver critical medical information as required. Combined with Managed Print Services (MPS), it’s a cost-effective strategy to limit disruptions while ensuring a reliable supply chain for critical support systems that healthcare providers require.
Benefits of Document Management Services for Hospitals
Administrative overheads remain a challenge for healthcare facilities. During times of crisis, these workflows are just as vital for providing care as medicine and medical equipment. The facility relies on accurate, up to date information to make the right decision for every patient.
Relying on a paper-only system isn’t feasible anymore. Hospitals and healthcare practitioners require direct access to a variety of documents to process intakes efficiently, track patients during their stay, and deliver quality care during the process. Using paper systems can lead to processing delays, information bottlenecks, and providing inaccurate information at critical times.
With a document management service or system, the facility benefits from:
- Cost Savings – Electronic repositories reduce the reliance on physical files. Reducing the number of prints while improving access to information will reduce the cost of managing documents.
- Decreased Processing Times – Forwarding an electronic document with a predefined workflow takes only a moment compared to walking it to the patient’s room. With electronic files, information flows more efficiently between individuals, departments, and facilities.
- Improved Security – Paper documents present a security risk for personal medical information. Leaving a patient’s records unattended could lead to the inadvertent disclosure. Electronic records are easier to secure.
- Reduced Cost of Compliance – Hospitals have to comply with legislation and demonstrate it to regulators regularly. With a document management service, they can reduce the cost of demonstrable compliance using electronic audits.
Document management solutions come with configurable workflows. These powerful tools help teams operate more efficiently and execute their duties accurately. In hospitals, the accuracy and privacy of information remain paramount. Investing in a solution developed specifically for that facility’s work processes can help to alleviate the burden on staff.
Additional Benefits of Using Managed Print Services Combined with Document Management
Integrating document management services with MPS can provide additional efficiencies to healthcare workers. As print fleets age, they become expensive to use, difficult to operate, and prone to failure. In a time of crisis, having reliable printing, scanning, and copying capabilities available to all staff is critical.
The Benefits of MPS with document management include:
- MPS allows facilities to upgrade their fleet of devices.
- Reduces cost by adopting devices that use less ink and electricity.
- Ensures a reliable supply of consumables for their multifunction devices.
- Provides increased oversight of all printing operations.
- Improves printer security with the latest best practices and tools.
MPS providers will assess the current print environment, establish the volumes, and recommend an integrated solution that suits the institution. They will also help establish a set of policies to reduce waste while ensuring the facility can track all print activities by department, device, or user.
Hospitals will also have a consistent budget that covers their printing requirements and document management processes. If something fails, the service provider takes full responsibility to restore services according to the agreement.
Reduce the Burden on Staff in Hospitals Using Document Management and Managed Print Services
In a time of crisis, it’s common to reflect on what organizations should have done previously to prepare for the present. Taking action now can help medical facilities to save time, money, and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrating MPS solutions with document management services can help streamline the patient care process, improve information security, and reduce dependence on legacy infrastructure.
To discuss how Donnellon McCarthy Enterprises can help your hospital improve document management processes and reduce costs with Managed Print Services, speak to a consultant today.