When it comes to healthcare, it’s clear that forms are much more than a formality. They are essential for collecting and sharing data effectively.
The information on forms drives the clinical and operational processes that are the foundation of every healthcare organization. Yet, when organizations lack a proper way to manage their ever-growing number of forms, the impact across the entire organization is profound.
The challenges that arise from disparate forms management systems leads to missing forms, inconsistent processes, sticky label struggles, version control issues, and the list goes on. The time to eliminate paper forms is now.
Imagine – ALL your forms in ONE Place.
With a digital forms library you will experience a simple and streamlined way to access and print forms from a browser, anywhere in the organization. Whether for registration, clinical documentation or during a downtime event, a Forms on Demand Solution provides a digital library of your most updated documents.
While there are endless reasons to implement a Forms on Demand Solution, we’ll dig into the top 3 reasons we believe implementing a digital forms library should make its way to the top of your to-do list in 2022.
1.) Critical staff shortages
Healthcare jobs have always been stressful, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made them more so. It’s no surprise that 18% of healthcare workers have quit their jobs during the pandemic, and another 31% have considered leaving. On top of that 12% have been laid off, so busy units are feeling the strain.
Becker’s Report shared that in September 2021 alone, the healthcare industry had 589,000 quits. They also reported that 14 hospitals temporarily or permanently halted services due to staffing shortages. With 4 in 5 healthcare workers saying they have been impacted by the shortage of medical professionals, 49% also reported they are burned out or overworked.
Wakefield Research recently released the Internet of Healthcare Report uncovers how patients, healthcare professionals, administrative staff, and executives view the healthcare patient and employee experience. Half of the healthcare administrative staff report seeing an increase in the amount of manual data entry in the past 12 months — as if we are going backwards away from digital technologies.
These statistics are overwhelming, and the health system leaders we work with take these numbers to heart. They know how dedicated healthcare workers are, and they understand the strain staff shortages cause for those who remain on the job.
Many CIOs and healthcare IT leaders have told us that their top priority is to find ways to reduce these strains with improved processes. And rightfully so, as the impacts span beyond staff burnout and patient satisfaction.
Tedious paper-based tasks, such as searching for the right form – printing, scanning, etc. – drain resources unnecessarily. Document errors and missing data cause compliance headaches at a minimum and lost revenue at the other end of the spectrum. At a time when healthcare workers are scarce – there is little time left for remaining staff to be focused on unnecessary paperwork related struggles.
2.) Staff & patients want it
According to the Wakefield Research study, 54% of staff reported using paper-based forms at least once a day, most were much more often. Document errors and missing data cause compliance headaches at a minimum and lost revenue at the other end of the spectrum. Subpar workflows can create critical delays in care such as surgical delays or reschedules when informed consents go missing – a problem for patients and staff.
Many CIOs and healthcare IT leaders have told us that their top priority is to find ways to reduce staff strains with improved processes. And rightly so because the impacts span beyond staff burnout to patient satisfaction.
Waiting for patients to fill out lengthy forms at the office slows down visits and increases patient frustration. And, no patient wants to wait for staff to file through countless folders to find the right form. A Forms on Demand Solution gives clinicians and staff the ability to quickly and easily find the right form, each time – giving patients the confidence they need in their provider. By controlling what to present to patients at any given moment – the solution improves the patient experience.
Before implementing a Forms on Demand Solution, King’s Daughter Medical Center had around 2,500 forms. By optimizing and streamlining their forms processes with a digital forms library, they were able to decrease the number of forms by 60%. KDMC CIO, Carl Smith says with the solution in place, clinicians aren’t interrupted in their workflows and patients are more satisfied. He estimates that thousands of nurse hours each year have been freed up, allowing them to focus on patient care.
By delivering forms more effectively and efficiently, KDMC is doing more than simply meeting their required legal and ethical obligations. They are promoting more meaningful interactions with patients.
3.) Its where healthcare is heading
According to Wakefield Research’s recently released Internet of Healthcare Report, half of all clinicians believe paperwork will be eliminated from the U.S. healthcare landscape within five years. (Not scaled back or reduced—eliminated.) 58% believe data entry will be fully automated within the same timeframe.
It’s no coincidence that the same report points out that 92% of clinicians think administrative work is a major contributor to healthcare worker burnout.
Let’s be honest – paper-based forms management processes are not sustainable in today’s world. They have a negative impact on your staff, organizational processes, and more importantly – the patient experience.
Creating a digital forms library is really your very first step in moving patient data collection away from paper. By doing an organization-wide forms audit, you can reduce unnecessary forms, weed out strenuous processes, and ensure only the most up-to-date, approved forms are accessible to all employees. An effective forms technology solution is a long-term investment in improved data management that ties directly to strategic objectives such as operational efficiencies, patient engagement, patient safety, analytics, and compliance.
Ready to have the RIGHT forms at your finger-tips, every time? Contact us today!
Download our webinar: NEW YEAR, NEW PROCESSES 2 Tips for Forms Automation Success in 2022