How to reduce paperwork for doctors

We’ve all heard the saying “time is money.” However, when it comes to doctors, their time has a greater impact than the money they bring in.

The amount of time physicians devote to patient care directly impacts the quality of care they provide. After all, doctors who spend more time learning about their patients’ health conditions have a better understanding of what the patient needs and how to treat them.

Unfortunately, paperwork can eat up much of a doctor’s time. A 2018 report found that more than 70 percent of doctors spent 10 hours or more a week on paperwork and administrative tasks. Doctors even fill out paperwork during patient visits, which distracts the doctor and irritates the patient.

Paperwork doesn’t need to stand in the way of excellent patient care, though. There are plenty of online solutions that help streamline your paperwork process and even make your office eco-friendly. How can online solutions help your medical practice go from a sea of paperwork to paper-free?

Online solutions can expedite your staff’s intake process

At first glance, online forms may not seem like a great solution to your paperwork problem. How could online forms take less time when providers are filling out the same amount of documentation?

Online solutions are more convenient.

Online forms enable doctors and staff to fill out and review paperwork anywhere, on any device. This means providers aren’t tied to their computers during patient visits. Online solutions also allow you to automate your organization’s entire form filling system. This automatic, standardized system makes it easier for employees to find and access the information they need to do their jobs.

Although online forms are fantastic for medical staff, they’re not the only ones who benefit from a paperless system.

Online forms give patients more flexibility when it comes to filling out their paperwork. Switching to a paperless solution means patients now have the option to do paperwork before their appointment, saving them valuable time with their doctor. When patients submit their forms ahead of time, staff can double-check the forms and flag any possible mistakes the patient has made.

Choosing the right online solution can help streamline the paperwork process for both your employees and patients. Still, you need good procedures to ensure an online solution helps rather than hinders your work. Let’s look at six strategies you can use to start replacing your bulky paperwork with sleek new online forms.

How to get started with online forms

A stack of files sits in binders on a table

In the course of an average healthcare appointment, medical staff may help fill out patient information and patient consent forms, write a prescription order, update the patient’s chart, and write a referral to a specialist. Now multiply these forms by the number of patients the staff sees in a day. How can you switch all of that information to online forms? Here are some steps you can take to go paperless:

  • Analyze your organization’s current workflow. Understanding the purpose of your paperwork helps you pinpoint what type of online solution would best replace it. You may even discover that some of the paperwork you’re currently doing is unnecessary.
  • Get your employees on board with your plan. Your staff likely wants to do less paperwork but may feel nervous about implementing a new system. By getting your employees involved in the process, you’ll put them at ease and even generate excitement.
  • Allow patients to complete their paperwork on their schedule. Instead of requiring patients to fill out forms right before their visit, send them consent and information forms before the visit. Doctors can look over these forms before the patient arrives.
  • See if your vendors are willing to use online documents. Switching these incoming documents to an online format prevents unnecessary papers from clogging your system.
  • Have the right tools to go paperless. Items like mobile devices can make it easier to use online forms. For example, mobile devices give your staff the freedom to fill out or consult online forms wherever they want.
  • Look for a HIPAA-friendly online form solution. HIPAA-friendly solutions like Jotform keep your patient information secure and private. Plus, replacing paperwork with online forms means that you don’t have to worry about violating HIPAA because your documents were lost or stolen.

These tips enable you to better use online forms and reduce how much paper your office uses. By reducing the amount of time your providers and staff spend on paperwork, you can improve patient care and make your staff happier.

Going paperless for better patient care

Time is money, and for doctors, having enough time is crucial for providing exceptional patient care. Implementing a new online system to deal with paperwork will give your physicians more time to devote to patient care.   
At Jotform, we offer HIPAA-friendly online forms that can help cut down on your paperwork. Our forms allow you to get all the information you need to treat patients without wasting hours collecting data.

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