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Why Paper Is Still King: Unravelling Paper's Dominance in Healthcare Facilities

Doctor's notes written on paper

Many years ago, in ancient Egypt, healers documented their wisdom on papyrus scrolls. Over time, these scrolls transformed into carefully crafted manuscripts where the doctors would write down their medical notes to preserve their knowledge. Today, in a tech-dominated world, there's a curious phenomenon in healthcare—paper still holds its ground. There are more questions than answers, but the most important is why healthcare providers love paper so much.

The Enduring Charm of Handwritten Medicine in a Digital Age

There's something special about the dance of a pen on paper. Handwritten notes and prescriptions carry a personal touch and create a connection between the healthcare provider and the patient. The physical nature of paper, its smell, and the lasting impression of ink create a distinctive experience that electronic screens have been unable to match. Indeed, the act of physically flipping through patient files and making handwritten notes on paper provides a sense of familiarity and reflects the age-old customs that connect traditional and modern medicine.

Preservation of Human Interaction: The Perils of Screen-Centric Care

Despite its benefits, technology disrupts the delicate fabric of human interaction in healthcare. Staring at screens during consultations can create a cold perceptual divide between healthcare providers and their patients. The fear of losing the personal connection, eye contact, and bedside manner that paper affords keeps many providers wedded to the world of physical medical documentation. The curious irony? Doctors would prefer to scribble down notes on a piece of paper and later take the pains of typing them into a computer. This seemingly counterintuitive behavior is driven by acknowledging that, despite the added effort, it yields a swifter and more efficient workflow.

Resistance to Technological Hurdles: A Fear of the Unknown

A doctor receiving patient forms at a healthcare facility

The transition from paper to electronic health records (EHRs) brings with it a learning curve. Many healthcare providers, already burdened by the demands of their profession, resist adopting new technologies. The fear of making errors in electronic systems or the time investment required for training can deter providers from fully embracing digital alternatives, keeping them tethered to the familiarity of paper.

Financial Strain: The High Cost of Digital Conversion

The implementation of electronic systems demands a significant financial investment. Smaller healthcare facilities often find the cost of software, hardware, and staff training to be too high. As a result, they tend to stick to the seemingly affordable paper trail. However, in the long run, paper-based systems are more expensive when it comes to taking up physical storage space and the cost of damage or loss. Nevertheless, paper-based systems are less environmentally friendly. It's important to remember that technology is not intended to replace paper but to reduce the burden of manual processes, allowing healthcare providers to focus on providing quality care.

Building Bridges: Navigating the Transition

Picture reducing a process from a lengthy 90 days to a mere 3 days!

In the year 2019, with our groundbreaking product TruePaperless, we embarked on the mission to shift claims processing from a paper-based system to a paperless one. Our successful efforts have significantly streamlined the claims processing time, slashing the turnaround time by over 96%. This swift turnaround has empowered healthcare providers to receive payments promptly. It exemplifies the profound transformation achievable through the digitization of processes in the healthcare sector.

Furthermore, we've simplified the note-taking process for doctors with Slade Advantage, our most recent product that marks a significant departure from the traditional paper-based method of documenting notes. Currently, your doctor no longer needs to contend with the challenges of cumbersome pen and paper documentation that have plagued the sector.

We have also explored ways to blend paper with technology to meet our clients' needs. We realize that we do not intend to dethrone paper but rather collaborate with it. However, as we move toward a paperless future, there is no doubt that paper's dominance will diminish as we adopt digital technology.


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