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Is there still room for document management systems in healthcare

Tampa - As hospitals and physician groups move closer to electronic health records, is there still a need for the standalone document management system in healthcare? The simple answer is `yes.' As long as paper exists and businesses are looking for ways to save time and money managing records, documnt management systems are here to stay.

Paper will still come into the office from a variety of sources. Whether or not a doctor's office has an electronic health record system, electronic documentation will not overpower paper documentation any time soon. Paper will continue to come from:

-       Charges and Superbills
-       Payments from carriers (EOBs)
-       Correspondence between carriers and patients
-       Copies of drivers' licenses and insurance cards

Document management systems are easier to learn and faster to implement. Document management systems are typically easier to use and implement than electronic health record systems - especially web-based document management systems that eliminate costly staff time to file, misfile and retrieve patient records while providing staff immediate, simultaneous access to full patient information.

 Physicians shouldn't always store records in their electronic health record software. With documents stored as standard TIFF files, physicians and their staff will never lose their information - even if they switch electronic health record software providers. “We've seen many medical offices switch their EHR providers as their practices grow,” explained Leslie Haywood, CEO eBridge Solutions. “What's nice about having a separate document management system with eBridge Solutions is that they never lose their scanned documents. Our clients don't have to pay the old EHR provider a large amount of money to transfer data out of the system or their new EHR system a conversion fee to make the documents accessible.”
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Physicians won't need to completely change the way they do business. Document management systems provide instant access to patient records without a long learning curve or complete overhaul of processes and procedures. One common complaint about electronic health care record systems is that implementation is complex and lengthy training is required. This factor slows down operations and puts additional burdens on the physicians and administrative staff. With document management, physician's can gradually wean themselves off of paper-based records.

Document management systems offer cost-savings, which are critical these days. Electronic health record software start-up fees range from $2,500 to $250,000 for larger medical practices with ongoing monthly and/or annual fees. Document management systems, however, can have low or no up-front fees. Web-based systems can provide even greater savings with low-monthly subscription plans. “No one is immune from the economic crisis we're facing today,” Haywood said. “Even large physician's groups are realizing that they can get more out of a less-expensive document management system more quickly than they can an expensive, time-consuming EHR system.”

 eBridge Solutions is a web-based document management company providing imaging, storage and retrieval services for businesses nationwide. Clients ensuring compliance with state and federal record retention mandates, consumer privacy regulations and various corporate disaster recovery and business continuity policies. For more information, visit www.ebridge-solutions.com.

 

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