What’s the Real Cost of Slow Document Access?

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Amy Shellhart By Amy Shellhart 
Director, Product Management, McKesson
Papers flying around a frustrated woman who wants a document management system

When people discuss reducing or eliminating paper in the workplace, they often talk about things like getting rid of file cabinets or reducing staff because the hours spent filing have been cut back.

While those benefits are real, they’re not the complete benefits of electronic document management (DM). The true benefit lies in better serving patients by giving clinicians the information they need at the click of a button.

Let’s be honest about this, though—that value only comes from a system-wide installation that lets your organization eliminate all paper—not just some of it. The idea of document management is to have absolutely everything in the system and have it organized in a way that makes sense to everyone who uses it.

The problem is not the cost of the filing cabinets or the space to put them, or even the people to file the papers. It’s the cost of searching for misfiled documents and recreating lost documents (estimated at $120 and $220, respectively, by Compulink Management Center). And in these days of increased regulation, we can all imagine how much time we’d save if we were able to quickly find the forms and information required for an event like an audit.

Let’s look at what areas of your organization could be helped if you had a fully integrated DM system that allowed you to truly go paperless:

  • Documents would be easier to find, allowing staff to respond more quickly to information requests, billers to more quickly get answers to coding questions, clinicians to better serve patients, and financial staff to more easily prepare for audits.
  • Clinicians could have a single place to view and print each patient’s documents.
  • The ties between the main office and offsite workers could be strengthened.
  • Reimbursement levels could rise as a result of better document access for peer reviews.
  • Many regulatory requirements could be taken care of by the system (HIPAA, Joint Commission, etc.).
  • Privacy and security issues could be reduced if the system controlled access rights and provided an audit trail.

That’s why we’ve recently expanded the document attachment ability of McKesson Homecare™ and McKesson Hospice™. We know how important DM is to your organizations.

As you journey toward a paperless environment, don’t do anything before you figure out how you’re going to determine return on investment. Quite often, organizations see statistics like a 50% to 90% reduction of the time needed to create and modify documents and a 20% to 30% increase in productivity, so you’re definitely going to want to capture those numbers.

Want to learn more about the impact that a home care software solution can have on organization management and better patient care? Read our e-book: Considerations for Choosing a Home Care Software Solution.

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