June 15, 2012
Between the costs brought on by purchasing cutting edge equipment, paying employee wages and handling maintenance fees, hospitals and other major medical centers are finding that their expenses are getting the best of them. Despite the immense revenue that the health industry collectively sees year to year, all too many clinics and smaller practices struggle to keep profitable month after month. As a result, many patient-focused medical businesses are seeking out more inventive means through which to cut down costs and improve operational efficiency.
While there are several ways that companies can go about doing this, those organizations that work within the health industry have begun using electronic medical records as a tool to better their businesses. Although many medical practices look upon EMR technology as an efficient system for record-keeping and client management, few people realize the inherent cost-reducing potential of a digital record system.
Lower Costs for Office Supplies
The immediate, and most obvious, advantage of switching to EMR comes from the reduced reliance one has on office supplies. Since electronic medical records only require a minimal amount of physical equipment and accessories to maintain, EMR-enabled practices only use a fraction of the papers, printer ink and folders that they once did. While the overall savings found in the diminished use of office supplies won’t save a business outright, they do help to scale down expenses month by month.
Reduced Dependence on Storage
Gone are the days when hospitals used to devote entire rooms to holding patient records. Due to the almost limitless hard drive capacity of high-end computers, clinics that use EMR find that they can easily do away antiquated record-keeping and may now devote old file closets for other purposes. Beyond allowing a company to refit these rooms for any use they like (extra space for patients, equipment, etc), this also means that off-site storage is also kept to a minimum. Both these benefits can add up to big savings over a long enough period of time.
Increased Productivity for Better Worker Flexibility
Once the changeover to electronic medical records has been made, a clinic’s staff will find itself handling a system that allows them much more time for other daily operations. Since EMR systems are highly automated and require only minimal upkeep, medical centers that use these databases are able to free up a great deal of time for their workers. This increase in productivity means more tasks completed in less time and, therefore, a lessened need for overtime and other pay-demanding activities.