How to become your hospital’s paperless champion
By Angela Beal, DVM
If your hospital hasn’t yet made the switch to paperless, what’s holding you back? Although the transition may seem daunting, the benefits of a paperless system far outweigh the effort involved and will vastly improve your hospital’s daily operations. Consider these perks of going paperless:
- Your team won’t have to struggle to read messy handwriting, which means fewer mistakes will be made.
- No more scanning paper documents into patient medical records then shredding stacks of paper—who has time for that?
- Countless hours will be saved when your team no longer has to search for lost files—all records can be quickly located at the click of mouse.
- Digital records cannot be destroyed by spilled water or coffee—or worse.
- Your hospital will save money on file supplies—paper, folders, tabs, and ink add up to more than you might think.
Why your hospital needs a paperless champion
Has your team talked about going paperless, but the idea goes nowhere? Good ideas often get lost in the shuffle because no one steps up to spearhead the effort. Teams won’t see improved operations, increased revenue, and better efficiency if someone doesn’t take it upon themselves to get it rolling, so why not take charge and become your hospital’s paperless champion? As a veterinary technician, you will see daily benefits from a transition to paperless operations, which makes you the perfect person to lead the charge.
How SmartFlow can make your hospital’s paperless transition easier
SmartFlow Patient Workflow Software is designed for paperless operation, from client check-in to patient monitoring. Adding SmartFlow to your existing PIMS can fill in the gaps, providing digital solutions for your remaining paper-based processes, and help you finally make the transition. Clients use portable iPad devices to check in and sign consent forms instead of completing paper forms on a clipboard. Treatment sheets, anesthetic sheets, and dental charts eliminate the need for paper, and for creation of a presentable, clean copy that can be added to the medical record. SmartFlow even provides templates for each form that are completely customizable to fit your hospital’s needs.
How to motivate your team to make the change
You know that paperless is the way to go, but how can you convince your colleagues? If you can help your team see how a paperless system will improve patient care, you’ll win their vote. The time you save by no longer scanning documents, chasing down lost files, and deciphering messy handwriting can be used to ensure patients receive treatments on time and are monitored more frequently. In addition to better care, point out that eliminating paper can make a significant environmental impact. Calculate how much paper your hospital uses in a month and how many trees can be saved by going paperless.
Your colleagues may be concerned the transition will create more work, and team members who aren’t tech-savvy may be intimidated by digital technology. Address concerns with a plan for success to help them see that the rewards will be worth their effort. Ask them to help you brainstorm strategies for converting paper files to digital records so a few team members don’t become overwhelmed with the task. Our SmartFlow support team is available to help train your entire team, from tech wizards to those who may need more coaching, so they can become comfortable with the digital platform before, and during, the transition.