The first step in transitioning to an automated workflow is recognizing the need to move on from manual tasks. But, once you identify the processes you’d like to improve, it can be challenging to find the right fit for your organizational needs.
Take your time in choosing the vendor you’d like to work with. Establish the must-have features you’re looking for and get a demo on the products you’re interested in. Then, create a transition plan to make sure everything goes smoothly when implementing your new processes.
Here are three simple steps to follow for a smooth transition to an automated workflow.
1. Establish a plan for managing old paper records
The information on old paper records has to be added into your new system. Whether patient history is transferred to your new eligibility and claims management software or job applications are stored on your server as you get rid of paper files, one of the main goals of transitioning to an automated workflow is to have as little paper forms left as possible.
However, it’s much easier to scan a few forms than it is to transfer multiple filing cabinets’ worth of information. Depending on the volume of information you have to manage, you may need to spread out your transition plan over a few days, weeks or even months. Regardless of the timeline, having a plan in place will ensure you don’t fall behind, and it will help prevent any loss of information. Be sure to include the proper disposal of paper records in your transition plan as well.
2. Offer thorough training for your new workflow
The purpose of automated workflows is to simplify daily operations across your organization. But, this can’t happen if employees aren’t properly trained on the new systems and processes.
Training needs to be a top priority. The better you can explain the purpose of the transition and offer assistance to staff during this time, the more effective the switch will be. Your team will feel confident in the new technology and more engaged in their work, which could lead to improved retention rates.
Set clear standards about how to handle internal information. Talk through the tools and software you’re implementing as part of your automated workflow. Maybe have an industry expert offer a workshop for your team or schedule a special training for team managers to share. Also consider offering ongoing training after the transition is complete to ensure all team members are using the new workflow at its highest efficiency.
3. Keep up with industry shifts
This step is ongoing. As you continue to grow your business and make your operations more efficient, changes to healthcare regulations and consumer needs will occur. Your workflow should be adaptable to these changes as they’re announced and implemented.
Most of the time, your healthcare IT vendor will make adaptation easy to do. They’ll adjust their software as-needed or inform you about the impact of an industry shift before the change begins. But, it’s best to keep an open line of communication with your vendor and to do your own research on industry trends.
Make it a point to look for new optimization opportunities as well. Transitioning from a paper to digital workflow is only the first step in improving organizational efficiencies. You need to keep building on the tech-savvy tools and processes you already have in place, or are looking to implement, in order to realize the highest benefit of automated work.