The true cost of maintaining a hard chart, part 2

In part 1 of this series, I talked about how most healthcare organizations manage their medical records. Then, I detailed the “hard costs” involved in maintaining a hard chart – for every patient.

Most of these costs revolve around paper. From a high level, they are:

  • Storage
  • Printing
  • Medical records management labor

Included in those costs are the inherent risks of using paper to manage patient care – risks like loss, theft, or damage.

As I said in part 1, to decrease these costs and risks, you need to capture your documents and data electronically at the front end of the admissions process. This allows you to make the documents available electronically – immediately.

Because there are other, hidden costs.

Digital data beats paper, every time

Would you rather have your experts providing care or looking for missing lab results all day?

And what happens when a chart wanders off outside your medical records department? It could go anywhere: Stuck at a nurse’s station, hidden on a shelf, or even tucked away at a physician’s home office.

Are there any copies floating around?

Clearly, paper isn’t the way to manage a hard chart. That’s why scanning medical records as soon as possible is so important. By capturing all the information on all that paper electronically, staff members have access to it when and where they need it.

Document capture and process automation will also allow your care givers to focus on meaningful work – like providing clinical and resident care – instead of managing paper. And the right platform can empower everyone across your entire enterprise by delivering information within the healthcare software they already use and know, improving medical data management and reducing operational costs.

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Or, better yet, come talk to me and the rest of the Hyland Healthcare team at booth 5743 at HIMSS in March!

Scott Magers

Scott Magers

As the Account Manager of Post-Acute Care for Hyland, Scott Magers (PT, MBA) brings more than 20 years of experience in outpatient physical therapy, home health care and most recently in skilled nursing facilities. He has served on many collaborative committees between hospitals and post-acute care (PAC) organizations seeking best practice for transfer of care, care coordination and collaboration. His goal is to share these experiences and build on the OnBase platform to showcase the power of enterprise content management (ECM), business process management (BPM) and records management to help PAC providers automate paper-based processes to improve efficiencies, quality of care, and patient outcomes.

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