by Jonathan Elliott
You don’t need a medical degree to know that healthcare can be complicated – codes, labs, patients, procedures, processes, regulations, screenings, tests, treatments – it’s an overwhelming deluge of data. Yet, on the contrary, today’s era is one of convenience. Whether it be a text message to remind you of an upcoming trip, or the ability to order from your favourite restaurant with the tap of an app in the middle of the night – we rely on technology to make our lives easier, simpler.
So how do we usher in an age of digital transformation in an industry mired in paper-based processes? How can we give patients the ability to schedule appointments, check on test results and access their records with the same ease that they are accustomed to in their everyday lives? A truly paperless healthcare system – or business office for that matter – likely will never be a reality, at least not in our lifetime, and it doesn’t have to be.
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Transitioning to the digital future, and subsequently improving the patient experience, isn’t about completely eliminating the paper trail. It can be as easy as offering small ways to reduce hard copy documents. For example, Xerox helped one NHS Trust significantly reduce the nearly 1.5 million pieces of post a year related to patient appointments by enabling appointment reminders via email. For each appointment, we check if a patient has consented to email-based communication and then we automatically send out an email if the patient has opted in, if not a letter is sent. As an added bonus, the process will save The Trust an expected £1million over four years on postage costs. The Trust has also started to use self-check in kiosks across its clinics to secure patients’ consent to move away from paper-based communications. The streamlined patient communications operation supports the UK Government’s vision for a digital NHS by 2020.
These positive changes are just the tip of the iceberg for the healthcare industry, and Xerox is proud to support the NHS digital transformation agenda. Starting today, we’ll share more success stories at UK eHealth Week 2017 at Olympia London. Stop by our stand, 212, and join the conversation on Twitter at #EHWK17.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Xerox Connect, the corporate blog for Xerox Corporation.