As the world continues to battle against COVID-19, scientists are learning more about the virus. For example, recent studies suggest that it may persist on surfaces for a few hours or even several days, depending on the surface type and environmental factors.
Due to this, it is now more important than ever that places with large numbers of infected people such as hospitals and aged care facilities remain clean.
In addition to keeping surfaces clean, health experts recommend that social distancing measures are implemented to eliminate unnecessary human contact.
This is an area in which DocuWare, of which Docuworx is a Platinum Partner, can be a big help to hospitals.
A paperless hospital is safer and more efficient
By using DocuWare, hospitals are able to scan and centralise all of their documents, allowing them to go paperless and reduce the risk of spreading the virus via paper.
Hospitals can also use DocuWare’s electronic forms and recently-added electronic signature functionality to further reduce paper and thus person-to-person contact.
The realization that going paperless may help in the fight against COVID-19 was recently noted in a paper published in the medical journal Critical Care.
In the study, researchers at Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital in China said that the hospital treated more than 35 confirmed cases of the virus and 260 suspected cases with a ‘zero nurses’ infection’ rate.
Key measures implemented by the hospital to achieve this included providing education to nurses, establishing a special shift schedule, using appropriate protective gear and going paperless.
“Avoiding unnecessary contact is critical for minimizing cross-transmission,” the study said. “All medical documents including physicians’ order sheets, medical records, consent information, examination results, and nursing materials are paperless.”
In addition to helping hospital minimize transmission of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, going paperless also has other benefits including instant access to medical records resulting in a higher level of care, quicker access to shared information between departments, increased transparency, and shorter billing cycle.
Mason General Hospital: DocuWare case study
Prior to the virus outbreak, hospitals were already seeing the huge benefits of going paperless.
For example, in 2012, Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics in Washington implemented DocuWare to link information entered into their Health Information System, Meditech, with other crucial healthcare documents such as physician order summaries, lab results and registration documents.
Following the implementation, hospital staff were able to access critical information at the point of care, delivering a higher quality of service to their patients.
Laura Grubb, Director of Health Information and Privacy Officer at Mason General said that while healthcare is complex, handling patient records shouldn’t be.
“DocuWare helps us manage our records so that we can focus on providing the best healthcare services possible to our patients,” she said. “Putting the complete medical record into the hands of our physicians and nurses, easily, at the point of care is a vital part of providing a higher quality of care to our patients.”
DocuWare developer joins the fight against COVID-19
DocuWare has also been doing his part to help in the fight against COVID-19 more directly.
DocuWare Manager of Research & Development Thomas Rath, who oversees the company’s Future Lab is using a 3D printer, as well as his own two printers to make a part for the face shields that protect frontline healthcare workers from exposure to the virus.
“My work at the Future Lab, where we explore new technologies that could benefit our customers, helped set me on this path,” Rath said. “I also have friends working in hospitals or in the medical field. They’re lacking so much equipment and are often completely on their own when it comes to procuring it immediately.”
Ready to see what DocuWare can do for you?
COVID-19 poses more than just a health risk to people, it is also having wide-ranging and detrimental effects on the economy.
But times of crises also provide opportunities. Now could be the right time for you to digitize parts of your business so that you are able to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.
Docuworx is the only Platinum Partner of DocuWare in Australia. We support businesses of all sizes across Asia Pacific with their digital transformations. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today.