Increasing healthcare costs affect patients, insurers, providers of medical care, and many far-reaching aspects of the economy as a whole. Electronic health record (EHR) systems are more common than they used to be due to incentives for medical practices to adopt them.
While EHRs can literally be life-saving because of their ability to coordinate care among multiple providers, they can’t handle all the work processes that go on in a medical facility. Well-designed workflows are just as necessary for non-clinical aspects of running a doctor’s office or clinic. Workflows are standard processes that eliminate redundancy, prevent mistakes, and generally help processes move forward like the proverbial well-oiled machine.
Well-designed workflows in combination with powerful, flexible workflow software can help ensure that the many non-medical tasks involved in operating a medical business run as efficiently as possible, with the fewest possible mistakes. Here’s how.
Step One Is Reducing the Need for Paper
Eliminating the use of paper in work processes is one of the biggest steps – if not the biggest step – in improving workflows. Paperwork is slow, can be lost or damaged, and takes up space. Furthermore, finding a particular piece of information on a hand-completed paper form can take an inordinate amount of time. Electronic form software lets businesses of all types create fast, easy-to-use online forms that won’t be lost or misplaced, don’t require filing cabinets, and that can be searched easily when information from a form is needed. And of course, businesses that reduce paper usage save money on supplies.
Allow Patients Themselves to Help
Electronic form software can be just the thing to allow patients to help you and, in the process, help themselves. Secure online forms can allow patients to fill out histories and other medical information before they arrive for their appointment. This makes the patient intake workflow more efficient and pleasant for everyone. Secure patient forms can be designed with fail-safes that help ensure mistakes don’t enter the workflow, by incorporating drop-down menus and instant format checks that help ensure all form fields are filled correctly.
Optimizing Non-Medical Workflows
While the medical processes that happen in a clinic or medical facility are of primary importance, the non-medical, behind-the-scenes workflows are just as critical to the success of the business. These workflows take many forms, such as what is done to exam rooms between patients, how patients are processed as they leave, ensuring that clinicians have the tools and supplies they need and that disposable supplies are tracked to prevent shortages. Workflow software that makes it simple to create custom workflows allows each medical facility to make the most of their space and personnel, rather than trying to adapt ill-fitting, one-size-fits-all workflows that are of limited help.
Technology Can’t Make Up for Poorly Designed Processes
Even outstanding technology can’t make up for workflows that are needlessly cumbersome or complicated. Before designing electronic forms and workflows it’s essential to map out the goals, whether that’s saving so many minutes per patient or reducing storage needs by so many filing cabinets. Revisiting old workflows regularly and identifying steps that could be combined or eliminated is another best practice for ensuring high-quality workflows. Once the workflows themselves are defined and each step’s purpose is understood, technology allows you to reap the benefits.
PerfectApps is not only powerful electronic form software, but also powerful workflow software that can be adapted to virtually any process in any type of business. With all of the cost pressures brought to bear on the healthcare system, it’s absolutely essential that wasteful work procedures be reconceived so that they’re as streamlined and sensible as possible. PerfectApps, with its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to design, test, and implement electronic forms and workflows, helping businesses in just about every industry, including healthcare, enjoy greater efficiency and lower error rates. We encourage you to watch the PerfectApps demo video to be inspired on the many ways PerfectApps can be put to work making your business run better.