Imagine walking into your office and seeing no paper anywhere! Everything is online and you can feel good because you’re saving money and the planet! Yay!
Realistically, paper usage is still common in offices across Canada, with tens of thousands of sheets being wasted every year. Not just paper but money.
We are all relying a little too heavily on paper. As a dentist, hygienist, denturist, office manager or receptionist, you use paper for pretty much everything – receipts, bills, charts, reminders to your patients, medical history forms, and more.
Even though the idea of a workplace without paper seems like just a pipe dream, it really isn’t. Just imagine what it would be like if your team said goodbye to paper. In this post, I invite you to join me on a journey through your paper-free office and I’ll show you some of the benefits of such a change.
No paper charts
Check out the image above. If it at all looks familiar to you, either you’ve made a change but the image has triggered the stress that comes from remembering the clutter, or this is what you’re currently seeing and have already pressed both hands to your face to groan very loudly.
Now, scroll away from the image, because it’s time to imagine a digital office without all that paper clutter. Imagine you have just stepped into the office and you are not seeing a wall of shelves packed with charts. No more post-it notes with important information falling off patient files and getting lost somewhere in the office. No more searching frantically for a patient chart, because they were put out of order one time and never fixed. No more losing patient charts just in time for that certain patient to come to your office with a dental emergency.
No more stress caused by severe clutter in the office. The less clutter, the better you and your team will feel.
The benefits of going from paper charts to digital affects everyone on your team, from the staff being able to search easily for a patient’s chart simply by clicking a button, to the dental assistant never having to deal with those annoying sticky notes again, or papers falling out, or information being lost.
The benefit to dentists, denturists, and hygienists is having the chart right there in front of you, easy to read, easy to understand, with all the notes and medical alerts available in one spot. Imagine doing an exam and just saying each of the numbers while your intelligent software listens and marks it for you. In addition to not worrying about another touchpoint, you have the freedom from human error, whether by typing or writing.
When it comes to progress notes, imagine having a template that makes typing your notes so simple and easy that it doesn’t feel like a chore anymore.
It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
I know it sounds out of this world, like this idea is still years away, but on your journey to going paperless, you will see that’s not the case at all.
No reminder appointment cards, postcards, or hard copy forms
Now, with all those charts gone and your team free from all that paper usage, it’s time to focus more heavily on the front staff and patients. COVID-19 has made everyone a little wary about touching anything these days, and even though in many places COVID cases are slowly dropping and normal seems to be just around the corner, we have all become more aware of what we touch throughout the day.
With that in mind, it’s time to imagine an office without that nasty touchpoint – paper. More specifically for your recalls and reminders.
For as long as I’ve been going to the dentist, after an appointment, I’ve been handed an appointment card with information for my next appointment printed on it. I also have a few friends who have received postcards with appointment reminder information on them.
But imagine telling your client that, instead of having to give them an appointment card, you can easily just send them an email reminder about their next appointment. You might even find that there are not as many cancelations, especially since busy people tend to forget their appointments and an email or text might be just what they need to remember.
Within that same reminder email or text, your receptionist can just have a link that allows existing patients to fill out those COVID forms online. And for new patients – a link to complete their medical history form online.
Does it blow your mind? Have you thought about the other benefits while imagining this new paper-free office?
Besides the benefit of reducing your cost on paper usage, and the benefits this has on the environment as the more trees in our lives, the better, a paper-free office means reduced stress for everyone on your team in addition to having all the information you need right at your fingertips.
For more information on going digital and everything that goes with it, register for our live webinar, “What Does it Mean to go Paperless in your Op Rooms?”