Healthcare managers have a lot on their shoulders—from keeping their departments running smoothly to upholding HIPAA compliance at all times to ensuring patients receive quality care. One worry they shouldn’t have is the cumbersome nature of paper-based processes. Unfortunately, it seems this is largely still an issue.According to Formstack’s healthcare workflow automation report, 67% of healthcare managers are spending at least one full work day per week on manual, repetitive tasks—and another third are spending half of their work week (at least 20 hours) on these tasks. Additionally, 44% have identified three or more major inefficiencies in their processes. These are some serious productivity challenges to overcome.The good news is it can be done. Implementing business workflow automation strategies can vastly improve your team members’ efficiency and give them back some valuable time. Here are a few process improvement tips to get you started on automating your healthcare workflows:
Eliminate Paper Forms
Even with technology pervading nearly all aspects of our lives, most of us still find ourselves filling out paper forms in healthcare waiting rooms. And while this certainly has a negative effect on the patient experience, it’s also hard on the employees who have to manage hard-copy forms and manual data entry.Using paper to manage patient onboarding and other healthcare processes means hours spent faxing, scanning, printing, and shredding sensitive paper documents. It also means a lot of time-consuming data entry and the associated transcription errors. It’s no wonder 39% of healthcare managers cite repetitive errors as a top workflow challenge.Implementing online forms that offer HIPAA data security features is the first step toward freeing healthcare managers from manual data tasks. Online forms can streamline a number of key healthcare workflows, including patient registration, physician referrals, and incident reporting. Bonus: Online data collection platforms often have built-in verification features that won’t allow inaccurate or incomplete information to be submitted.
Automate Data Routing
Once you’ve collected the necessary data through an online form, you can further streamline your healthcare processes through automatic data routing. Nearly 44% of healthcare managers say it takes at least two days (and sometimes over a week) for process bottlenecks or roadblocks to be addressed. Automated data routing can eliminate many of these bottlenecks by sending information where it needs to go without manual work or middlemen.Need a patient’s medical history data entered into an electronic health record (EHR) system? Set up a HIPAA compliant webhook on your online form and remove manual data entry from your healthcare managers’ to-do lists. Want to automatically update Salesforce records or Google Sheets entries with electronic protected health information (ePHI) from an online form submission? Connect your forms to other systems via HIPAA compliant integrations.
Create Accessible Health Records
Convenience and accessibility continue to be top priorities across all industries, and healthcare is no exception. In fact, accessibility is perhaps even more important for healthcare than other industries considering the potentially critical nature of patient care. Creating accessible health records through online forms and EHR systems can save a lot of time for everyone at your health facility. When patients have quick and easy access to health forms and medical records, they can take some of the paperwork burden off healthcare managers by monitoring and electronically updating their own information.Additionally, with 40% of healthcare managers citing poor communication as a top workflow challenge, any process improvement that allows for easier communication is vital. With accessible online health records, managers don’t have to physically track down paper files or specific providers to get the information they need. With the proper access credentials, they can consult online files and eliminate any miscommunication.
Healthcare process improvement is an ongoing endeavor, but these three suggestions are a great place to start. Want to know more about the current state of healthcare workflow automation? Click below to dive deeper into the current trends and their implications.