Making the change from paper charts to electronic health records (EHRs) can be daunting, and you may be considering if it is worth it for your practice. Paper is definitely becoming a thing of the past, and if you continue to use it, you may be losing out on money. Paper charts are full of indirect, direct, and hidden costs, such as the cost of buying the charts, the cost of ink or toner for your printer, postage costs, as well as the time it takes to organize, file and even find patient charts in your filing cabinets. However, saving money isn’t the only benefit to a paperless dental practice. Here are a few other reasons to digitize your patient charts:
Securely store active & inactive patient charts
Housing your patient’s personal information in boxes or filing cabinets can put your practice and those patients at risk of having data shared unknowingly or even stolen. Data security is extremely important in the modern world. Digitizing your patient charts and moving them to a cloud-based storage system allows that information to be protected, encrypted and controlled. It can also strengthen your compliance with HIPAA and other privacy laws, reducing your risk of violations.
Protect your practice from disaster
Have you considered what would happen if your office were to endure a fire or flood? You could end up losing years of information that cannot be restored or duplicated. Using EHRs alleviates the risk of losing your patient’s information as they are backed up and accessed easily when needed.
Recover expensive office space
You may not be utilizing your office space the most efficiently if you have clunky filing cabinets taking up unneeded space and different locations for storing all of your old patient files. You may even be spending hundreds of dollars a month to store them in storage units. Going paperless will allow you to use the space in your office for more necessary items and reduce the overall clutter in your practice.
Save time – access your patient charts immediately
How much time does your office staff spend organizing, searching for, and filing your patient charts? Simply searching for a patient through your online portal would significantly reduce the time looking for that information. This frees up time for more productive work and allows your employees to focus on their tasks instead of spending time searching through filing cabinets and old boxes.
Improves dental employee & patient satisfaction
Patients will be happy to know that their personal information is more secure, meaning their personal information is less likely to be misplaced or seen by other patients. Going paperless also allows your staff to serve your clients more quickly and efficiently. It is more convenient for your patients, as well as for yourself in regard to filling out paperwork, accepting payments, and even reviewing health histories.
Although it may feel like a daunting task to go paperless, and there may be minor hiccups along the way, it’s important for many reasons to digitize your patient charts and move into the modern times. Now is the perfect time to transition to a paperless office and start reaping the benefits for how it can change your dental office for the better!