Guide to Going Paperless

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Going paperless means replacing paper records and paper forms with digital records and electronic communication. Going paperless is about reducing office costs and clutter and improving efficiency.

Going paperless is one of the most talked-about topics in dental offices today. Many practices are trying to find ways to streamline workflow, reduce waste, increase efficiency, and improve profitability by going paperless.

Dental practices want to go paperless for many different reasons. Some are looking to become chartless and begin storing patient treatment information electronically. Some want to reduce office costs and clutter and use as little paper as possible. And some want to find new ways to keep patient information and data secure.

Henry Schein Practice Solutions knows this is an important topic, and we want to help you reach this goal, which is why we have created this framework to guide your practice through the process of going paperless.

This guide lists the tasks an average dental practice performs with paper and compares them to the way you can perform them with less paper using your Vision software eServices. It also lists suggestions about preparing to go paperless.

Before you begin

Going paperless is a process, and it will take time and preparation. Before you begin the process of going paperless, make sure you have adequate equipment, create new office policies, and ensure that your team members have the necessary skills required to work in a paperless office.

Equipment
You need to have computers in every operatory, the doctor’s office, the front desk, consultation room, etc. You should also have one or more computers in the lobby for patients to use to fill out forms. It is also best if your computers have a high-speed Internet connection. Because you will still have paper in your office (EOBs from insurance companies, receipts, written letters, etc.), you’ll need a multi-page scanner. You’ll also need a digital camera, digital X-ray devices, and one or more electronic signature devices.

Policies
You need to perform a daily, off-site backup to ensure that your data is secure and easily accessible in the event of a disaster. You should also be familiar with HIPAA compliance and other federal regulations related to computers in the dental office. You should have documented computer and Internet usage policies so your staff is aware of what is acceptable in your practice.

Team skills
The biggest change you and your staff will have to make is the way you work, which is why it is necessary to make sure you and your staff get training to ensure a smooth transition. The better your skills, the easier the transition will be.

What you can do
Each day, there are specific tasks you must perform for your practice to operate smoothly. You can do several, if not all, of these tasks with less paper. The most important thing to remember about going paperless is to digitize when and where you can.

The following table lists the tasks an average dental practice performs with paper and compares them to the way you can perform them with less paper using your Vision practice management software and eServices.

treatment-planchartingpatient-check-out

insurance-managementbillingscheduling

reportinggoing-paperless

Where to get help

Look at the recommendations in this guide, and evaluate your staff’s proficiency with your Vision software and eServices. If you need training on any of these tools, visit the training section on your Vision product website, where you will find information about in-office training, on-demand resources in the Resource Center, and other training events like Expert Series seminars, phone trainings, and webinars.

To purchase the eServices tools you need to go paperless, such as EHR, eClaims, PBHS tools, or ExpressBill, contact Specialty Software Sales at 800-680-6902 Opt.1.

This information was provided by Henry Schein® Dental

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