The old saying “time is money” might not be strictly true for healthcare, but it’s not too far off the mark. While doctors and other medical staff may make up the bulk of those whose time is precious in the eyes of the public, that doesn’t change the fact that an overworked administrator can be just as detrimental to the overall efficacy of a healthcare organization as a burned-out physician. In some ways, burned-out administrators can be even more costly to healthcare providers because their lack of time leads to mistakes that can violate regulatory laws, leading to lawsuits from patients as well as fines from the government.
Luckily, healthcare organizations don’t need to burn out their employees to make sure they meet the requirements; they can instead invest in healthcare compliance solutions that have developed over the last few decades.
Many institutions rely on paper copies to manage their organization’s information, particularly regarding compliance issues. Aside from the harmful effects on the environment, the over-use of paper can create many inefficiencies in healthcare facility operations. Many ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals manage regulatory compliance by keeping vital patient records in file cabinets, safety information binders that take up space, posted flyers that are not always noticed, and inter-office communication that gets lost in the mix of everyday tasks.
Wendy, an HR manager at the Urological Associates of Savannah (UAS), is one such professional. She relied on these archaic methods of managing compliance and struggled to meet the demands of tracking deadlines, renewals, recertification dates, inventory, and more as a result.
After being established in the mid-40s, the practice has a reputation for meeting the highest standards of excellence when it comes to patient care in their area. However, with advances in medical equipment, changing healthcare laws, and ever more complicated regulations, Wendy was spending more time dealing with paperwork than providing quality service to the ever-increasing number of clients the practice served.
Here are some of the main issues that Wendy needed help managing as the patient list ‒ and the number of regulations ‒ grew:
Record-Keeping and Reporting
Every healthcare provider has to keep copious records to provide patients with the care they need while ensuring compliance with current industry regulations, and Wendy was no different. Trying to manage the flow of papers to physicians and other staff members to ensure they have the necessary certifications to remain compliant with the law can be overwhelming for any HR manager and lead to costly errors that can strain the organization’s budget.
Luckily for Wendy, technology has developed to allow easy record management through a centralized online portal where training can be deployed and certifications recorded without issue.
When UAS invested in MedTrainer’s record management system, Wendy improved the amount of time she spent record keeping. With the ability to upload staff records such as health information (flu, tuberculosis, annual physicals, etc.), attendance to staff meetings and fire drills, ACLS/BLS certification, and employee awards, Wendy saved hours of valuable time. She was also happy to have that information on hand when it came time for annual performance reviews. She also found it convenient to file incident reports online with ensured employee privacy. Having the ability to direct the files to the appropriate managers and supervisors was a welcome relief from interoffice mail.
As an organization grows, the ability to effectively access necessary documents becomes imperative to its success. With a centralized document management system, everyone in a healthcare organization can access the required training and policy explanations they need to receive credit for their compliance training.
At UAS, the ability to reach every employee with the same information in a matter of seconds proved to be a significant advantage. When it came time for open enrollment at their facility, Wendy could quickly send directions and forms through the easy-to-use database and attain e-signatures when needed. She could easily access policies and procedures documents and safety plans and completely customize them in content and branding.
Sifting through a mountain of filing cabinets to find the right slip of paper for an audit can be a disorienting experience at best and an impossible task at worst. With the latest regulations mandating specific timelines for meeting patient and regulator requests, healthcare staff must access the necessary information quickly and in one place if they will succeed. With the latest technology, every healthcare provider can do precisely that by employing a document management system that helps collate necessary information in one centralized place.
A new document management system helped UAS manage its flow of documentation far more efficiently. Wendy saved hours organizing staff training records and licensure/certification information, which she used to manage in a tedious Excel spreadsheet. Outlook reminders for impending deadlines became a thing of the past. After using a simplified system, she could not imagine reinstating their old ways of regulatory compliance management.
Find out more about the benefits of a document management system, or explore healthcare and medical eLearning systems.