As a document management professional, it is your responsibility to ensure that the employees within your organization are able to access necessary data. Often the struggle is accessing this information whenever the employee ultimately needs it. Accessibility is especially important in the medical world. Doctors and healthcare professionals are seeing more and more patients, and they do not have the time or resources to search for information. Whether they need to access transcripts, reports, or patient histories, they must be able to easily access information to serve the increasing number of patients.
Not only is it vital to have the functionality to easily access information, the information-access solution must be affordable for your organization. Many current and past data management solutions have required large, upfront capital investments and a large operational capacity, only to be ineffective in the end.
Additionally, the medical industry is starting to get increasing pressure from government agencies to move toward digital solutions or Electronic Medical Records (EMR) management. Not only must information be easily accessed, but it must be secure and confidential as it is distributed to doctors, patients, and partners. Imagine if ER doctors could easily bring up the medical records of a patient who is unable to communicate. By doing so, they find that the patient is allergic to a particular medication that would regularly have been used for treatment or discover patient information that could alter the treatment options. The availability of this information among remote users also allows for better collaboration within the medical community and can help in the advancement of practices and knowledge.
Today’s solution is a web-based repository that is customized to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. These systems are referred to as Digtial Asset Management Systems; for the healthcare world, they function as an EMR system. The benefits include the ability to cost-effectively update and make changes as needed, maintain high security protocols, and provide for the customization, easy access, user ability, distribution, and archival functions.
In one case, a customized DAMS and EMR solution provided to a leading national behavioral health and employee assistance program improved their medical records management significantly. Distributing and providing access to medical records to doctors anywhere and at any time helped this organization increase productivity and saved a tremendous amount of time for the doctors and staff who work in remote locations around the US. Not only was the system easy to use for both staff and administrators, but it was also effective for the organizations data management. In this case, the healthcare staff and doctors travel between different clinics and medical practices. Given patient security and other regulatory issues, they needed a system that provided for strict confidentiality but gave easy access to the authorized users. The healthcare staff found tremendous benefit in having immediate access to their transcripts and patient records as well as the ability to distribute medical information and records between other clinics and doctors to ensure proper treatment of their patients. This solution offered an easy way to provide recommendations and gain insight from specialists within the organization and beyond, all just a few clicks away.
The medical industry has yet to fully embrace the digital world, but it is inevitable that they will do so. With more cost effective solutions than in the past, coupled with the latest technology, the transition is easier than ever. Just a few of the cost savings that are instantly recognizable (once implementation is completed) are the absence of operational costs to maintain the database; the time saved by healthcare professionals, office staff members, and IT staff; the accuracy and ease of retrieving and distributing data that historically has been much more time intensive; as well as the ability to update and make changes to the system without the high costs usually associated with upgrading.
To assist you in determining your ROI for an IT project such as a content management system, please visit www.knowledgestorm.com and use the online ROI tools.