ArchiDoc: Back-office services enable doctors to devote more time to their patients
As the Medycyna Praktyczna (Practical Medicine)1 portal reports, a majority of Polish doctors and medical staff devote most of their working time to filling in documents and entering information into systems. Services available in the market make it possible to streamline data entry and the flow of documents in such establishments. The external back-office solutions, extensively used in the United States and Western Europe, are now being used increasingly in the medical sector in Poland.
Today, the domestic market of document management services for hospitals, health resorts and diagnostic laboratories grows at double-digit rates annually. Relatively recently the medical industry in Poland has opened for outsourcing. Nowadays, it becomes increasingly bold in using western patterns which show that the optimization of the processes connected with document management and exchange of medical information have beneficial effects on work effectiveness of medical establishments and doctors, who, owing to fewer administrative duties, gain more time for their patients.
Services available in the market make it possible to improve data entry and the flow of documents in the medical sector. Such operations may be successfully carried out by lower skilled personnel or external partners. This model enables doctors not only to free their time but also to reduce costs and to have a quick and reliable access to data at any time. As a result, noticeable improvements of the quality of Polish health service may be accomplished without huge expenditures and in a short period of time.
The obvious solutions for modern banks, insurance or telecommunication companies still encounter distrust from public medical institutions. This is influenced by the ambiguity of the Polish law regarding the treatment of Patient Information. Most of Poland’s economic sectors have created safe methods of effective database management over the last few years. I hope the medical industry will also follow this path – says Konrad Rochalski, the President of the Management Board of ArchiDoc SA.
In Poland, the medical industry more and more frequently outsources the organizing and archiving services of patients’ files, X-rays or administrative documents, such as invoices or HR and payroll documents. Projects related to scanning and placing files in the electronic archives are currently pursued. This allows ensuring access to the complete electronic Patient Information within seconds. It is also possible to check the original documents at any time. And all this is performed in accordance with restrictive security procedures that guarantee the security of sensitive information.
Solutions dedicated to the medical industry must be adjusted to the nature of their action and specificity of the processed documents. A company servicing such customers is obliged to observe the legal requirements which govern the principles of patients’ data protection. On the other hand, the company must be prepared to support different formats of the documents, such as X-rays – adds Konrad Rochalski.
Registration of the course of an appointment, including an interview with the patient, in the form of voice recording, may become a real revolution in the medical sector. Such a recording is suitable to be converted easily into a note that shall be accepted by the doctor. In ambiguous cases, you can listen to the recording once again. In such a model, the doctor can spend up to one hour performing his/her administrative duties instead of a few hours a day. Moreover, the doctor gets a quick access to the electronic version of the patient’s disease history. The time saved can be devoted to the patients.
Medical institutions generate billions of documents every year and the specificity of their work contributes to outsourcing of document handling processes. On the other hand, there are statutory regulations which require retaining documents for a long period of time. According to the law, a majority of medical documents must be kept for 20 years. This requirement necessitates the preparation of adequate infrastructure and different resources, such as archive storages and IT systems, as well as hiring people with appropriate qualifications. In practice, processes connected with document management are handled by the medical staff, like nurses, who are also engaged in other duties. Most of the medical institutions are not in the possession of professional storage facilities.
There are hospitals, health resorts and companies dealing with medical diagnosis among our customers. References are the most important factor in project acquisition in this sector. The fact that we successfully carry out services for a major hospital reduces the concerns of other customers, who decide to entrust us with similar services – says Konrad Rochalski.
Customers from the medical sector put an emphasis not only on security, but also on quick access to the documents. Solutions used by outsourcing companies which specialize in servicing such entities, ensure a rapid delivery of documents in paper or electronic versions.
One of the most important arguments for outsourcing the handling of documents is a considerable cost reduction. Due to the technical know-how, adequate infrastructure and returns to scale, external entities, contrary to the medical entities themselves, are able to implement back-office processes at a cost reduced by a few dozen percent.
1Report: "Biurokracja w służbie zdrowia", Medycyna Praktyczna, 2016