As technology and medical practices advance through the years, it’s natural for the healthcare sector to also adapt its patient management systems accordingly. More than 85% of physicians today use electronic health records (EHR) systems, and the cloud computing market size for healthcare has been estimated to be worth $24.44 billion in 2028. Because of modern technological advances, there’s more patient information than ever, and a greater need for a safe space to store this data in. To help your organization take proactive steps to facilitate this, here are five tips that can help you with patient record management.
Migrate Files to a Secure Digital Database
With the influx of patient data in both paper and digital forms, losing access to any would prove to be disastrous, especially for keeping up with treatments. This is also something the COVID-19 pandemic has taught plenty of organizations, and not just the healthcare industry. It’s advantageous to start migrating files into a central computerized system that’s automated and easily accessed remotely, such as cloud storage. Prioritize backups to ensure all important information is salvageable in case of mishaps. And plan the process carefully for digitizing things such as paperwork and other tangible assets. Seek the help of information technology professionals for a smooth transition.
Leverage Automation to Expedite Processes
Depending on the history and maturity of your healthcare organization, not all documents should be considered records. For instance, rough drafts, duplicates, and incorrect information do not require the same level of management. It would be a waste of time and energy to sift through every document to get the gist of it, so be sure to leverage automation technologies to make the process easier. Some examples of these are keyword scanners or auto-detection that can pinpoint critical information within documents.
Hire Relevant IT Professionals
To ensure that your medical staff and internal IT team won’t have too much of a hard time managing records, you should consider hiring a professional with a background in management information systems for additional support. Individuals like these have practical experience in programming, problem-solving, project management, analytics, and network security that can guide your organization throughout the whole process. You could also find professionals skilled at healthcare data analysis as they’re able to boost the efficiency of healthcare operations by interpreting data from cost reports and health records, among others.
Don't Neglect Data Protection Measures
Surveys have revealed that two-thirds of clients paid attention to the privacy of their personal records, and only about 39% of respondents felt that their data was safe and secure. Medical professionals have a legal and ethical obligation to safeguard patient information and prevent medical errors and data breaches. That said, digitized files tend to be safer as only authorized individuals have access to them. To protect the information stored in the EHR, a triad of security features are often installed, namely administrative safeguards, physical safeguards, and technical safeguards. It is recommended that encryption schemes be implemented on all your latest EHRs.
Train Your Workforce
Finally, develop effective employee training to keep them up-to-date with the latest system changes. It was found that some breaches are actually the result of untrained employees mismanaging sensitive information. Thus, health institutions must train all employees who interact with the EHR during any stage of the data lifecycle. Furthermore, encourage efficient workflow through platforms that foster collaboration within the organization. Tools that are cloud-based like Google Workspace and Drive can centralize document handling and keep everything in one place and everyone on the same page.
Overall, better patient record management calls for technological innovation and sufficient training for all the employees working in the healthcare organization. Remember to rely on reputable software providers and relevant professionals to ensure a seamless transition. Find more information about document control systems here.
Penned by Elyse Finlee