Document Management for Hospitals

Hospitals have a huge paperwork and documentation burden. Not only is there a huge amount of it, but the privacy and security burden that is required is also huge. Hospitals must also manage many varied document types as well. Typical office documents, human resource and payroll, patient billing and health records, lab results, and imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI) results are all among the types that may be necessary to store and access with a document management system (DMS).

Being such large organizations that many regulations to follow, hospitals naturally have many processes and procedures that must be followed and documented in the right way. This means that hospitals require enterprise document management system (EDMS). These systems, unlike other DMSs like Content Management Systems (CMS) or Document Imaging Systems (IMS) includes the capabilities to define, manage and document a company’s processes, procedures and workflows.

This is crucial for hospitals that have to ensure a lot of documentation is done for insurance and liability reasons. It also helps to manage and administer a very large organization that has very complex inner workings like hospitals do. When you have many diverse departments and people that must communicate effectively and transfer ownership of documents and patients efficiently, an EDMS can help when used properly.

EDMSs can help ensure hospitals remain in compliance with federal privacy and health and safety regulations. They can also speed up training and alleviate the burden of knowing all the documentation workflows and specific steps of a hospital’s procedure(s). This decreases the risk of employee turnover and helps to ensure that the level of care remains consistent even when employees change.

Specifics to look for in an EDMS for a hospital are:

Security and a strong focus on privacy which implies strong user access and role controls. Patient data is extremely sensitive and all security precautions must be taken to ensure it remains secure.

Imaging and media support to capture and manage images created by the X-ray, CT and MRI systems. Managing the metadata associated with the images and keeping the association with the patient’s other health records.

Electronic health records (EHR) in the necessary format. There are a number of different EHR formats and the EDMS should support the chosen one.

HIPAA compliance is required in the U.S. This ensures the privacy of health records and requires certain steps be taken to release those records. This is tightly related to security but is specific to the health care industry.

In short, EDMSs can greatly aid running and administrating large hospitals which ensuring compliance with HIPPA and other federal regulations. They can speed up onboarding of new employees and improve efficiency throughout the organization. Overall, the quality of care can be improved and guaranteed while reducing costs and risks.

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