Home health care is easily one of the most documented and regulated industries, resulting in a vast amount of paperwork. In many home care agencies, paper-related inefficiencies are the source of countless hours and thousands of dollars wasted that could have been spent on more important tasks focused around improving patient outcomes.
The overall cost of paper records (in both time and money) is widely underestimated. With labour being one of the primary costs of a home healthcare agency, processes should be designed to help employees and field workers be the most productive and efficient as possible. Electronic documentation solutions not only streamline workflows and reduce costs, but they can also improve the overall client experience.
The Cost of Paper
While paper itself is expensive, many organizations forget to account for the associated costs, which include not only the actual price of paper, but the labour, storage, copying, printing, disposing etc.
"The associated costs of paper documentation could be as much as 31 times the purchasing cost of paper."
Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance (2005)
"The average worker in an office uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually."
"Of all documents filed, on average 7.5 percent get lost, while 3 percent of the remainder are misfiled."
"The average organization spends roughly $20 in labour to file each paper document, $120 in labour searching for each misfiled document, and $220 in re-creation of a document."
"The average filing cabinet used 15.7 square feet, and the average cost of office space is $15-$20 per square foot, therefore organizations are paying roughly $236-$314 per filling cabinet solely for real estate."
Efficiency Expert K.J. McCorry (2009)
The statistics are quite staggering.
With digital technology transforming the home healthcare industry and electronic systems becoming not just a necessity, but a requirement, it only makes sense for healthcare CIOs to seriously consider replacing paper-based processes with innovative solutions.
According to the 2014 HIMSS Leadership Survey, 65 percent of respondents have decided to increase their IT budgets, with majority of the funds going towards the adoption of paperless home care processes.
Electronic clinical documentation software provides a number of benefits that just wouldn’t be possible with a paper-based system, such as the ability to pull up a client’s care plan or billing history in seconds, or having multiple users access the same document at once.
By working with an electronic documentation system, such as AlayaCare, agencies can more efficiently manage patient records both in the office and in the field.
See how AlayaCare helped Acclaim Health get off of paper for good...