4 Ways to Make Business Records Management Work for You
Wed, May 13, 2015
By: Jacob Gilmore
Running a small business is similar to riding a roller coaster: you paid to get on, and you have a good idea of what to expect, but the ups and downs can still keep you on your toes.
For companies that deal with sensitive data and private information, and for those in heavily regulated industries like healthcare, finance, or insurance, the extra responsibility to care properly for business records and data can add to the stress and difficulty of the job. Getting the help of a professional business records management partner can help ease that stress significantly while ensuring your organization and customers are always compliant with regulations and safe from identity theft or other serious crimes.
To see how this works, let’s use the example of a small medical practice with three physicians that sees about 3,000 patients a year.
Records management saves time
In this relatively small practice, there are only two people on staff who handle the front desk, scheduling, and all the record keeping for three MDs, three PAs, and two nurses. These two employees are busy from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm every day, and when one of them is ill or out on vacation, the other one struggles to keep up the workload.
A significant chunk of their day is absorbed by locating patient records, updating records with the day’s changes, and filing. In some cases, one of the staff may need to see records that go back several years in order to brush up on a patient’s history in preparation for an appointment. This means frequent trips to the overstuffed file room behind the reception area.
All the records are on paper in manila folders and located on shelves in the back room, organized alphabetically by the last name of the patient. Now and then, one gets placed incorrectly, and that adds to the time it takes to locate it.
Just imagine if locating the right record could be as simple as logging into a web portal and pulling up the patient’s name to view downloadable scanned copies of every page in the record. Imagine further if every addition to the record could be automatically added to the digital archive just by sending in updates on a regular basis to be scanned and saved electronically.
This is possible through professional business records management services like document conversion services, and a cloud-based management system.
Records management saves money
For many of the same reasons, do-it-yourself document management can be a costly endeavor. Every minute office managers spend looking for a file, and walking back and forth to the file room, is a minute they’re not doing something else valuable for the business. It can mean customer service suffers, information is lost or forgotten, or appointments are scheduled incorrectly, all because filing is not a quick, simple, streamlined process.
Whether the practice chooses to go with a document conversion services or chooses to have most or all patient records go into offsite document storage, lessening the workload absorbed in filing will allow staff to focus on other revenue-generating activities like properly booking appointments and keeping patients happy and coming back.
Records management boosts productivity
Another obvious result of removing a cumbersome process is that the staff previously responsible for redundant filing and retrieving patient information is freed up to do other things. With a little creativity and ingenuity, the additional time a strong business records management partner provides can be used in many different ways. Can staff who no longer has to file paperwork handle any of these important tasks instead?
- Creating / maintaining the practice’s website
- Exploring marketing options to fuel future growth and expansion
- Reviewing current and past due bills for collections activity
- Analyzing monthly expenses to identify ways to cut back and boost profits
- Improving the look and feel of the reception area to improve patient comfort
Any of these activities could do a lot more for improving the bottom line of the practice than going back and forth to the file room.
Records management offers peace of mind
It’s not easy to put a dollar amount on peace of mind, but anyone who has lost it knows it’s extremely valuable. In the case of the small medical practice, information that must be maintained regarding patients can be a target for criminals, and is strictly controlled by federal and state regulations.
With a professional business records management partner assisting, records compliance can be ensured, the files are safe from natural disasters and other physical harm, and even the retention schedule for patient records can be upheld.
While we used a small medical practice as an example, these same principles apply to nearly any small or large business that needs to maintain extensive business records. If you’re interested in discovering what records management options are available to your company, we welcome you to contact us today.