Many studies say administrative costs in healthcare make up around 25% of total hospital expenditures. This reinforces the fact that healthcare administration is one costly business, and the number is still increasing. However, the money spent is more of a misspend than a good investment because the costs don’t correlate to better quality healthcare. When requesting insurance authorization for referrals and procedures, a majority of physicians still use paper; traditional fax machines are also still utilized by most of them.
The burden of those excess costs will be passed on to either health insurance companies or the patients themselves, and that’s where the problem becomes worse. Inefficiencies in the processes play a significant role in the healthcare administrative problem. But in a heavily regulated and highly complex field, how do you combat inefficiency?
Going Digital In Documentations
With administrative expenses as high as 25% of annual expenditures, clinics can no doubt direct more funds to improving facilities and overall patient care when an efficient process is in place.
Streamlining document processes is one way to start becoming more efficient. Pre-sorting of documents, manual entry of data into systems, and other unnecessary manual work are reduced by using document capture solutions for healthcare providers. In this way, keeping records become more accurate.
To explain further, here are some of the roles of document capture solutions in healthcare:
1. Automatic Data Classification And Extraction
Most document capture solutions use classification modules or engines to access existing databases and classify new document types automatically. As a result, data extraction becomes more convenient. Healthcare institutions don’t have to spend hours configuring a workflow with the help of this tool.
2. File-naming Standardization
Once captured documents are routed to the repository, they become easy to find because document capture solutions allow healthcare providers to determine a document or file naming system, making standardization of classifying conventions possible. Of course, one key component of administrative efficiency is the improved organization resulting from a standardized process.
3. More Efficient And Faster Information Processing
Document capture tools gather and route patient information only in seconds, and it’s a vast improvement over paper-based systems, which are time-consuming and costly. As you know, hand carrying or transferring documents from one department to another takes hours or even days. Document capture solutions don’t only add hours to patient care processes but also decrease overall administrative costs.
4. Improved Protection Of Patient Healthcare Information
Paper-based processes aren’t a viable option anymore as the mandates to secure patient healthcare information (PHI) become increasingly complex. Document capture solutions can help healthcare providers or institutions meet applicable government compliance regulations. As part of an electronic document management system, they include permissions to keep unauthorized users out, track who accessed the files, and have ongoing data backup and recovery options.
5. Automatic Document Importation
Document capture tools can help eliminate the need for setup before the scanning processes because most of these solutions have an auto-import function to monitor folders for new documents and import them into the workflow automatically.
6. Automatic Processing of Patient Surveys And Other Important Forms
Healthcare facilities gather patient feedback from time to time as required by the Affordable Healthcare Act. They use surveys and other data-gathering forms to do so; and to maintain their funding, healthcare providers have to comply with regulations, creating a burden on them to process essential information on time.
Speeding up survey processing requires solutions like document capture solutions to read checkboxes and recognize handwritten text intelligently. The manual labor burden on the facilities’ administrative staff is reduced significantly as a result.
7. Simplified Document Validation Process
Document capture tools can be utilized for simplifying various document validation processes. For example, pharmaceutical orders get routed from capture to queue automatically. In this way, authorized personnel can access them, and then validation can proceed immediately, so they get routed to the facility’s electronic medical record (EMR) system or repository.
8. Administrative Costs Reduction
Electronic document management and capture systems eliminate most of the processes and costs involved in paper-based record keeping. Imagine the resources and money to be spent in traditional record-keeping approaches, which require employees whose task is focused only on filing and retrieval of documents. Not to mention, paper-based document management also involves designated physical storage areas, consumables like ink cartridges and paper, and a fleet of equipment.
The idea of adopting document management software such as a document capture solution overwhelms many healthcare providers. However, the fear of change is what stops them from moving forward, but it doesn’t have to be like that.
Electronic systems like document capture tools allow healthcare institutions to break down the entire document management process into manageable steps to take less time, improving overall efficiency and reducing administrative costs.