Whatever blessings we may have, they cannot be fully enjoyed if we are not in good health—and citizens of every nation rely upon healthcare providers to ensure the good health an enjoyable life necessitates. Providers know all too well that fulfilling this duty has become difficult given the bureaucratization of healthcare.
In recent years, the tensions between medicine and bureaucracy have roiled the waters of healthcare on a global scale, but small clinics, healthcare collections companies, and contract nurses have found a way to chop through many of healthcare’s newfound bureaucratic processes, and it all begins with one software—document management software (DMS) This technology enables providers to fulfill the dream they aspired to so valiantly in medical and nursing schools—the dream of practicing medicine, inasmuch as it does the dream of giving patients exactly what they need.
DMS in Contract Nursing and Elderly Care
The elderly care industry is growing at an unprecedented rate within the United States. In fact, recent studies report that the number of patients in the care of nursing homes and contract nurses is to almost double by the year 2030. With more demand for services comes more growth, more compliance expectations, and, unless one is savvy enough to go paperless, piles of filing cabinets.
DMS organizes a plethora of forms, including resident documents; lab, physician, and therapy notes; agreements and contracts; wills; power-of-attorney documents; ADL assessments; clinical health assessments; resident care schedules; medication administration records; invoices; employment/staff documents; marketing materials; and safety procedure documents.
Deanna Hancock, owner and founder of DMH Contract Nursing Services, has been able to better handle it all with her office manager, Michelle Ford, who needn’t be ‘super human’ any more thanks to DMS. Hancock is a long-term care community nurse, or LTCCN. After 20+ years in the hospital industry, Hancock finished her Master’s Degree and developed her own business as a CRN, (contract nurse), for the state of Oregon, where she specializes in developmentally disabled and medically fragile clients in the Multnomah and Washington Counties.
Together, Hancock and Ford take great pride in providing the highest level of care for their clients. However, healthcare is a paper-heavy business, and the amount of paperwork required can be paralyzing. In fact, Hancock estimates she had to transport about 30 pounds of paper with her per day. She’d find herself hand-writing notes during client visits, then having to go home and type, print, sign, fax, and sort paperwork.
She had stacks and stacks of folders brimming with papers and forms containing important information like billing, appointment dates, medications, and prior authorization dates for 130 active clients. Plus, she is required by law to maintain client records for 7 years, so her home office (which is likely smaller than a normal, administrative building) became clogged with cabinets and boxes full of archived materials that were extremely vulnerable to disaster and security breach. Hancock chimes in on how DMS assisted with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability) compliance:
“I’ve reduced my liability risk with HIPAA…We are unique because this company is just the two of us—we don’t delegate pieces to different departments. We handle it all.”
What’s more, Ford and Hancock estimate there were 27 – 32 steps in their workflow; most of which completed manually and, therefore, slowly. After diagramming their workflow, they designed the simple, automated workflow process they needed within their DMS solution, cutting workflow steps to only 12 processes. This means, if equating time to workflow steps, that the time to complete their workflow was expedited by as much as 267%. Hancock describes what she feels to be the biggest benefit from using DMS:
“Without a doubt, the biggest benefit has been decreasing the steps in the workflow processes…”
Now that Hancock is an ‘electronic’ contract nurse, she finds client care and her schedule are more flexible. She can now devote more time to client visits and outside care coordination, whereas before it was pure tedium trying to document phone conversations and other time-consuming but important details. She estimates that she has been able to recoup about 20% more in billing as she is documenting more accurately and much more quickly.
DMS in Healthcare Collections
Healthcare Collections is among the most information-intensive professions in the world, and paper is no longer fit to manage its processes. Once healthcare providers hand the reins to collection specialists to receive payment from health maintenance organizations, Medicare, Medicaid, insurance companies, or in some cases patients themselves, managing the information can become an exhaustive, manual process. DMS and similar technologies would mitigate these complexities in mass, helping healthcare providers as quickly as possible by making information highly retrievable and easy to find. For instance, Ryan Patano, Vice President and Owner of physician billing company, Alta Medical Management, notes how his Salt Lake City business simplifies compliance and business processes with Document Management Software:
“As we grew in geographic scope, we had to share documents back and forth with our clinics on a daily basis, multiple times a day. Our go-to product was either faxing, which is highly unreliable, and hard to read. Or we created point-to-point VPNs with a lot of our clinics, which are difficult to implement, expensive, and implementing them with some of our less tech savvy clinics has been very problematic. Obviously we have to abide by all the rules and regulations of HIPAA, and security is everything. eFileCabinet is great because it’s fully HIPAA compliant, and it’s super easy to use…implementation, overall as a company, was literally minutes.”
The world demands much of healthcare providers and the collections specialists who make their work possible. It’s only fair that these healthcare providers equip themselves with the tools they need to meet these demands with poise, confidence, and efficiency. Contact eFileCabinet today for information on how to get your paperless organization started on the right foot.
Latest posts by Matt Lichtenwalter (see all)
- 3 Productivity Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity at the Office in 2017 - May 3, 2017
- Using Document Management to Ensure Accounting Business Continuity - February 2, 2017
- The Document Management System Features of Tomorrow - January 9, 2017