As a GP the cases patients bring to you might surprise and challenge you but usually your office environment will remain the calm constant it has always been. However, what happens when a big change occurs? How will you cope and are your systems there to support you?
We have been working with GPs throughout Ireland for over 20 years and we thought we would share some examples of scenarios we have come across. Maybe by us sharing them you could consider putting in place measures that may prevent chaos in the future.
Scenario 1 – A key admin staff member leaves
Liz has been with the practice for over 30 years, she knows all the regular patients and how you like things done. She can always be depended on to find whatever information you need and have it on your desk before you even ask for it. But what happens when Liz retires? She was managing the files, now you have some files in paper form and other files that are digital. Where do you look when a patient needs the results from their scan or test?
Having all your records and documents scanned and stored on your system will mean information at a touch of a button without even leaving your chair.
Scenario 2 – An opportunity for extra revenue
Your patients are being referred by you to a physiotherapist in the next town. She approaches you with a request to rent a room from you in the practice for a couple of days each week. It’s a great idea, you can get more income and your patients don’t have to travel. However, where will you find the space? That room full of boxes of paper and filing cabinets could be used but what to do about those records.
Get those boxes out of there! Have them collected, scanned and returned to you via an upload to your management system. You now have converted a dusty room to a money making business opportunity.
Scenario 3 – A new team member
Things are going great, it’s time for expansion or maybe a new doctor is coming in to replace one that is retiring. Exciting times ahead, however, this new guy won’t work with dusty paper files, they are used to access information at a touch of a button.
Having patient records on your system will mean they can be easily accessed by all team member and once updated by one, they are up to date for all. Also, it’s more secure as only key personnel will have access to the information.
Scenario 4 – A change of location
There’s a new medical centre opening at the edge of town. An opportunity to move into a brand new facility with lots of parking and the opportunity to work in an environment with other healthcare providers. But then the dread starts – do you really want to fill 30 boxes of paper and drag them all with you?
Of course not, so have them collected and scanned by us. You then just have to pack up your equipment and drive to your new location where your files will be waiting on you, but on a screen rather than in a cabinet.
Get on with the real work
The real work in a GP surgery is helping to get the patient diagnosed and treated. However, in order to be effective a robust system must be in place to manage the documents. Scanning your existing paper files and having them uploaded to your management system may seem like a big job. However, this is what Datascan specialise in – we can get the job done quickly and with the minimum of fuss. Old files scanned and then securely destroyed, ongoing scanning when you need us. It’s not as expensive as you think either. For as little as the equivalent of a consultation fee you will can regularly keep your data up to date and secure on your system.
These scenarios are typical of what can happen at any stage in your medical practice. When you work with Datascan your potential challenge can become an opportunity. See this year as a chance to get your files in order and your document management into top shape.