As the rest of the world adapts to our technological age, some industries seem to be struggling to keep up. At times, the healthcare industry falls into this category, slowly adopting new technological tools that can greatly improve hospital efficiency and patient care.

In fact, research shows that approximately 80% of medical data is unstructured and requires some form of validation. That is, about 80% of data is located in email, faxes, or paper documents, rather than in accurate and usable digital formats.

This is where document management tools, like scanning and captures tools, come into play. It’s estimated that by the end of 2015, healthcare providers will spend $1.2 billion on IT products, including tools like these. Adopting these new types of technologies allow the healthcare industry to become more data-driven, basing decisions on statistical insights rather than speculation.

As we’ll discuss below, there are a number of improvements that document management tools can bring to your hospital or health system.

Improving Patient Care

First, and arguably most importantly, the implementation of document management tools will improve the care you provide your patients. By having a number of medical records, and even a patient’s EHR, integrated with your document management tools, care providers can have a more holistic view of the patient’s health.

Through an analysis of the data included in patient records, this holistic view will enable predictive and proactive treatment, reducing costs for both the provider and patient, and ultimately creating a healthier community.

Improving Operational Activities

In addition to improving the care you can provide your patients, document management will also aid in improving the operational activities of your organization. From eligibility verification to coding and billing, documentation is involved in just about every process.

Document management tools provide quicker, wider access to the required documents, making your day-to-day operations easier in the long-run. Additionally, some cloud-based document management tools make it easier for employees to work remotely and still contribute to and edit documents.

Improving Revenue Cycle Management

Lastly, the implementation of document management tools also improves revenue cycle management. If your coding and billing can be done more productively and efficiently, you can get reimbursed by Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies quicker—with fewer denials. This, ultimately, reduces your A/R days outstanding, speeding up your revenue cycle.

As patient loads increase, as federal regulations increase, and as we get closer and closer to ICD-10, your organization will likely face a number of external pressures which might make it challenging to stay competitive and provide the excellent care you seek to provide.

However, with the adoption of new technology, namely scanning and capture tools, you can eliminate some of the internal pressures that bog down your revenue cycle, your operational productivity, and your patient care processes. This will enable your organization to deliver excellent, proactive care, benefiting the community at large.