Document management systems designed to put patient safety first

Document security is incredibly important for most businesses but for pharmacies and healthcare providers, the safe storage of patient records can mean the difference between life and death.

The way in which documents are managed, stored, archived and destroyed is evolving for most small businesses and this is a situation in which pharmacies, GP practices and other small health care providers also find themselves. Bureaucracy is on the rise and doctors and pharmacists have to cope with the challenges of going through a huge range of administrative processes to meet the requirements of government bodies. Paperwork still plays a huge part from the keeping of records and the production of documents at short notice, for example.

The main concern for pharmacists and GP surgeries is that coping with the vast amounts of paperwork generated does not become an activity which takes up staff time and wastes resources; resources which are particularly valuable in this era of increasing cuts to healthcare budgets.

Pharmacies, medical practices and medical practitioners have to provide paperwork for a range of organisations including HMRC, NHS England, clinical commissioning groups, primary care trusts and product suppliers. In addition, they also have to manage paperwork for the patient-side of their businesses and this can cover everyone from doctors, patients and patient groups.

Increasing numbers of pharmacies and medical practitioners are making the most of scanning technology to systemise and speed up their document management processes. There is a common misconception that document scanning – a misconception that is held by many people, not just those in the medical profession – is time consuming. However, using one of the latest scanning systems is proving an efficient way for pharmacies and GP surgeries to store records in one place, with the facility to quickly and easily pull out individual records at a moment’s notice.

Of course accuracy is of paramount importance when it comes to dealing with and storing patient records. There is no room for error as even the smallest mistake can prove to be potentially dangerous to patients. Streamlined, efficient document management processes are a vital link in the safety chain and are essential when it comes to minimising the risk of mistakes being made. The more that document management and storage is improved, the more time GPs and pharmacies have to devote to their patients and customers.

This is where cloud storage comes in: the vision of a paperless office is still some way away but as in the world of business, pharmacies and GP practices are increasingly making the most of cloud storage technology. Being able to scan directly to the cloud offers a wealth of opportunities to those involved in healthcare provision; such as efficient storage and the sharing and backing-up of patient records or vital information.

Last and by no means least, there has been a significant shift in the way in which medical practitioners and pharmacists think about storing paper documentation. The latest developments in document storage and management have demonstrated that there are very few documents which need to be stored in their paper form, whilst the rest can be disposed of securely. This shift in thinking is proving valuable when it comes to reducing the paperwork mountain and streamlining processes which is good who provide care and great for patients.