The best way to stay on top of things in a Chiropractic office, or any type of work environment, is not to let the work pile up in the first place. That’s much easier said than done, but working toward converting to an automated records and filing system will save your office space and money in addition to precious time, greatly minimizing work pile-up around the office.
All of the following tips for limiting work pile-up are related to using electronic systems for medical filing and records. Your office will need to invest a little extra time initially to get things going, but this time well-spent will save you from a lot of future work pile-up.
- Minimize Filing
Traditional paper filing systems take up a lot of employee time, and paperwork on the queue for filing accounts for a lot of the work pile-up that happens around the office. Stacks of patient charts, medical records, other routine forms, and standard office records (everything from supply order invoices to employee pay records) accumulate each day and should ideally be filed before the workday is over.
Practice management and EHR systems not only do the filing for you, but also keep everything in one place: on a desktop computer or laptop rather than in a room full of filing cabinets. Patient records are automatically saved and stored in electronic files that are securely accessible from other computers in the office. Doctors can pull up patient records themselves, and no employee time is required to re-file the charts later.
- Get Rid of Bulky Office Supplies You Don’t Use
Once your office has converted to paperless practice systems you can kiss all those filing cabinets goodbye and say hello to a lot of extra space that can be converted into more exam rooms, extra bathrooms, offices, a larger waiting area, or an employee break room. It’s also a good idea to take regular inventory of office supplies and get rid of those that no longer work or get used. You’ll also find that your office requires a lot less paper and related supplies, limiting the amounts you need to order and store.
- Get Rid of Duplicate Content
Automated records and filing systems come with universal back-up systems that can be accessed from a remote location in case of a computer crash, office fire, or other tragedy that could destroy precious records and charts. Since all material is safely backed up, it’s not necessary to keep duplicate files on hard drives, disks, or in the form of paper records.
In order to stay better organized, any duplicate files in your system should be trashed, since duplicate content can cause a variety of office tasks to be repeated, such as accidentally paying an invoice twice or sending out two patient appointment reminders.
- Create and Update Patient Charts in the Exam Room
Another benefit of a paperless practice is records can be pulled up, reviewed, and updated right in the exam room while the doctor is with the patient. Functions such as “inking” allow doctors to write notes on electronically filed x-rays and other charts, just as they would traditionally on paper. Even exercise instructions can be written, and sent off to the patients email (or a printer for the patient to take home).
Doctors will find that they are able to leave the office at the end of the work day, rather than working overtime to catch up on paperwork at the end of the day. During the day, doctors are able to spend more time with patients in the exam room and move from one appointment to the next without having to break in between to update patient notes and charts.
- Use a Waiting Room Kiosk
Paperless EHR systems allow Chiropractic offices the option of installing patient kiosks in the waiting area, where patients can electronically fill out intake forms and medical records history at the start of their appointments. The kiosks automatically relay all information entered for instant physician or front desk access, saving both patient and receptionist time. Kiosks like ACOM Health’s RAPID even enable Spanish speaking patients to enter information guided by instructions in their language, making things much easier for patient and staff, and also avoiding misunderstandings as to the intent of the question so the correct information is captured the first time.