Lower Hospital Costs with the Benefits of Electronic Healthcare Forms
HealthWare Systems Blog
on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
There are numerous benefits of electronic healthcare forms that can help lower hospital costs related to the production and inefficiencies of paper forms. Two of these, reducing paper usage and improving workflow automation, are outlined below:
Lower Hospital Costs with the Benefits of Reducing Paper Usage
Electronic healthcare forms greatly reduce the number of pages that need to be printed, which means providers can lower hospital costs related to all aspects of printing:
- Besides the cost of the paper itself, facilities can save money on toner, ink, and printer maintenance and service fees. A hospital may not even need as many printers, thanks to the benefits of electronic healthcare forms.
- Electronic healthcare forms can easily be printed on-demand if a physical copy is necessary, so there is no need to stockpile pre-printed forms that may go unused.
- Storage space and costs are no longer necessary since pre-printing is avoided.
- Changes and updates to forms can be made electronically and in real-time, saving providers from the cost and waste of destroying old pre-printed versions that can no longer be used due to new revisions. (Read here how BJC Healthcare, which uses over 3,000 forms, utilized ActiveFORMS to solve this problem.)
- The cost of blue cards and labels is also eliminated thanks to barcode automation.
- Electronic healthcare forms enable healthcare facilities to use electronic signature instead of paper consent forms, significantly reducing paper usage. Patients will also be impressed by, and enjoy the convenience of, an electronic signature option.
Lower Hospital Costs with the Benefits of Workflow Automation
Electronic healthcare forms allow providers to replace time-consuming and costly manual processes with workflow automation:
- One of the benefits of electronic healthcare forms is that hospitals can automate the selection, generation, and routing of forms. This ensures the correct, visit-specific documentation is produced every time (saving on costs associated with rework and denials due to missing paperwork/consents) and relieves the registrar from the burden of remembering selection criteria for every form used (saving on training costs and time spent searching for and gathering documents).
- Standard patient demographic data and barcode identifiers on electronic healthcare forms prevent forms from being confused between different charts and save staff time from needing to label or handwrite the same patient data on every form.
- Electronic healthcare forms that are barcoded, clean originals streamline the scan/capture process used by electronic document management systems (EDMS). Separating multi-part forms or dealing with fourth generation copies that are barely legible can become issues of the past.
- Improving workflow automation increases productivity and saves employees time, creating opportunities to reduce or repurpose FTEs. (Read here how Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital grew its surgery department by 20% without an increase in FTEs, thanks to workflow automation and ActiveFORMS.)
The benefits of electronic healthcare forms are many; reducing paper usage and improving workflow automation will not only help providers to lower hospital costs, but also help hospitals to reduce or repurpose FTEs, increase efficiency, increase employee satisfaction and retention, reduce hospital waste, appeal to the healthcare consumer’s attraction to corporate social responsibility, improve accuracy and patient safety, and increase patient satisfaction.