Slow medical record indexing is a problem, especially for your patients

paper chart conversions

If your clinics take longer than a day or two to properly index files, there’s a good chance you’re trying to manage the following situations: 

  • Clinicians are forced to wait for patient information that hasn’t been filed. 
  • Clinicians use incomplete data to evaluate patients and make decisions.
  • Administrative staff gets frustrated by disorganization, fragmented workflows, and time-consuming workarounds. They’re constantly rushing to find a document or data that isn’t where it should be.
  • Patients’ medical safety is in jeopardy when clinicians use incomplete, inaccurate, or misfiled data.

In other words, slow record-keeping wastes time and can impact the quality of care your patients receive. To make matters worse, this has probably been going on for a while. Maybe not at all of your locations, 100% of the time, but it’s a persistent, ongoing problem.

Man with apple and arrow taking a chance on his old EHR system

An information backlog caused by slow medical filing methods

Between cumbersome EHR workflows and an endless barrage of type-and-click tasks, manually entering patient information takes a significant amount of time. And it’s not just administrative staff spending hours on data entry. A study published in the Annals of Family Medicine found that even “physicians spend more than one-half of their workday, nearly 6 hours, interacting with the EHR during and after clinic hours.”

When documents come in faster than they can be processed—practically all day, every day—the result is a never-ending backlog of important information. Crucial patient data is just sitting in the queue, waiting to be filed, and providing no benefit to anyone.

It’s not your team’s fault. They’re doing their best. But when processes require moving documents through the queue one-by-one and manually entering data into the computer, it simply takes too long to index everything. The error-prone process can’t keep pace with the constant stream of documentation.

Who suffers the most?

Your patients feel the biggest impact of these delays. Inefficient indexing means providers don’t have the information they need to make informed recommendations and communicate effectively with patients.

Slow record filing can also cause providers to misdiagnose conditions and prescribe medications they shouldn’t. It’s a dangerous situation with potentially devastating possibilities. In fact, one study found that over 37% of actionable test results came in after patients were discharged from the hospital. Patients are needlessly put at risk of developing serious health issues because of delayed care. Additionally, patients who are left wondering about their test results experience increased stress, resulting in lower satisfaction scores.

To get information to providers more quickly, it might seem logical to speed up the process by asking your team to work faster. But that’s risky. There’s simply too much information entered by hand. Rushing the process can easily lead to errors and oversights, further delaying care and increasing patient safety risk.

This is all frustrating for your providers and staff. They are highly skilled, well-trained professionals who strive to perform at their highest level each day. When processes slow them down, they can’t work at their fullest potential. Their job satisfaction decreases, and morale drops. Without corrective measures, costly turnover may become an issue.

Time to change the way you index patient records?

If this all sounds familiar, there is some good news. You don’t have to keep using a broken system that threatens patient safety. Better options exist.

With a technology-enabled service like SmartFiler, your indexing time can be reduced by up to 95%,  practically eliminating your backlog. 

Instead of relying on staff for manual data entry and countless mouse clicks, SmartFiler works seamlessly with your existing electronic health records (EHR) platform, eFax system, and manual paper scanning processes to automatically index documents to your patients’ records in less than 24 hours.

The AI technology knows exactly what to do with each form. But if there’s ever anything tricky, highly-trained, human experts are standing by to evaluate the document and file it correctly, ensuring an accuracy rate of up to 99.99%.

If you’d like to learn more about how SmartFiler can improve your indexing, reach out to us. We’d love to talk about the ways we can make your record filing more efficient.