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How the Indian healthcare sector is benefiting from going paperless

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Arjit Bhargava, VP, Global Business Development, MSB Docs analyses how smart document solutions have revamped operations of a few leading hospitals as well as improved the overall experience for all stakeholders – doctors, patients, visitors, vendors, administration, employees etc.

One sector that has remained at the forefront of the on-going fight against COVID-19 pandemic is the healthcare sector. Over the past one year, the sector has evolved drastically in its bid to meet the need of the hour and playing an increasingly crucial role here is an astounding amount of data. As most players in the sector continue to rely on paper-based processes, most of this data fail to provide any value unless someone goes through the long and tedious activity of feeding all data into a computer.

Needless to say, paper-based processes are accompanied by the risk of important data getting lost or compromising health information of patients. However, there are a few leading players in the sector that are going for smart document solutions, thereby improving, streamlining and making the processes faster as well as more responsive.

The outbreak and prolonged impact of the pandemic stretched our healthcare system to the limit by burdening it with a plethora of work and patients. One of the major bottlenecks experienced during the phase was with regard to documentations such as discharge summary of patients. When the discharge summary of a patient is prepared, it requires approvals of one or many doctors before the patient can walk out of a hospital, thereby making the process extremely time-consuming.

Now with digital documentation in place, the time taken for the same has been reduced drastically. The doctors now have the leisure to seamlessly review, edit or approve the documents using their smartphones or laptops.

The overall turnaround time in this regard has improved a great deal, thereby enabling hospitals to serve more number of patients. The bed-turn rates have registered a spike in addition to the reduction in expenditure incurred on paper-based processes.

The patients too are availing the benefit of shorter wait time while they are discharged from a hospital. Even after getting discharged, patients need a number of follow-ups, and they can access the summary on the go from the comfort of their smartphones.

The healthcare sector in India is ensuring a seamless experience while going paperless. By leveraging document workflow, an integral component of smart document solution, a few other key processes have been streamlined.

For instance, the insurance claims that patients avail in the In-Patient Department are automatically redirected to insurance companies for approval and payment. The payments can be made to the patients’ digital lockers. As a result of this smart process, the archiving and safekeeping of all such important documents is ensured.

Having digital workflows in place further helps improve and streamline patient onboarding experience. Instead of waiting in long queues, the patients can fill up all necessary details through tools like Web Forms on their device from the comfort of their homes.

These features of smart document solution can usher in a check-in mechanism for hospitals wherein patients can input all the relevant information and sign the documents digitally. This will revamp the operations on a hospital floor while improving the overall experience for all stakeholders – doctors, patients, visitors, vendors, administration, employees etc.

In addition to all aforementioned transformations, going paperless is helping the Indian healthcare sector through means like training documentations and SOP management, in accordance with the specific requirements of multiple departments involved in the operation.

It is a no-brainer to mention that going paperless is gradually making the complex healthcare sector in the country function in a more cohesive and collaborative manner, serving the purposes of all stakeholders.

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