Going Paperless

Why go paperless?

  • The simple efficiency of having all the information at your fingertips. No more searching for misplaced files.
  • Data protection. With proper electronic protection, data is safe from natural disasters and system failures.
  • Clients who expect digital access to their pet’s information and who expect the practice to utilise technology.
  • Electronic monitoring and scanning allows for better tracking of patient visits, payments and medical records.
Where to start?

Click on the tabs below for tips and ideas on planning and the first steps you can take.

  • Get staff involved and appoint one of your staff members to oversee your efforts and encourage others to use paperless systems.
  • Evaluate what needs to be changed in the practice before paperless becomes an option. An inventory of your electronic infrastructure is the first step. How do you feel about your software? A good, hard look at your software can take time.
  • If you determine that your practice management software can do the job, look at how you would document items such as digital X-rays, both skeletal and dental. These are important parts of the electronic record.
  • Next, consider the reporting, connectivity and ease-of-use aspects of a paperless environment. Reports become very valuable in a paperless environment.
  • Look at a client self-appointment booking web system. Most practice management systems offer this.
  • Do you have a good backup system? Plan for routine data recovery as well as disaster recovery; they are equally important. Make sure the correct protection protocols are in place and develop internet safety rules for your staff to follow.  Look at both on and off site backup options and having two separate backup solutions.
  • You also need to evaluate the placement of data-entry systems. Paperless fails every time if there are not enough entry points and the staff has to wait to enter data. Are these systems up to date and are there enough of them around the practice?
  • TRAIN YOUR STAFF
    One of the biggest mistakes of going digital is not providing the appropriate training for employees. Whilst younger, tech-savvy team members may be able to deal with the new changes easily, older staff members may find the transition tough. Whether you are installing new technology or just moving to your own digitised system, full training should be provided to everyone.
  • Replace one paper-heavy process at a time with its digital equivalent—maybe start with the easiest process to transform—and when it’s running the way you want it, move on to another one.
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