How Digital Cabinet’s platform can upgrade a physiotherapy practice and help more people get better treatment.
When Casey was in the air, soaring, she felt free.
Now, as she lies on the gurney in the ambulance, she feels exactly the opposite: like a caged bird; her wings clipped to add insult to injury. Pole vaulting was her life; but judging by the sharp pain currently emanating from her knee and laying siege to her senses, that probably won’t be the case anymore.
The Olympics were only a few months away. She had been training for months, all her life, for this opportunity and now it was gone and probably never to come back again.
The blue and red flashes of light that shine through the gaps in the ambulance’s back door seem to sync-up perfectly with the immobilizing pain—every strobe was another crimson flash of agony, followed by a prickling sensation of icy blue needles.
As the ambulance pulled away from the field, it felt like it was moving incrementally away from her entire life. The tears stinging her eyes weren’t only because of the pain.
“That’s it,” she thought to herself, “I’ll never compete again!”
Despite the fact that our example with Casey is fictional one can imagine what an injury like that can do to a professional career.
Luckily for Casey, an injury like that probably isn’t as bad as she thinks it is—at least not any more. Doctors, specialists and physiotherapists would definitely be there for her, to make sure that she’ll be back, stronger than ever, and vaulting through the air and into her gold medal dreams in no time at all.
But speed matters in times like these. By creating more efficient processes, Digital Cabinet is able to help specialist practices and physiotherapists do their job better and provide better care for their patients.
Our paperless platform’s ubiquity and flexibility make it ideal for a range of different vertices and industries—we’ve already covered Human Resources, Automotive, Financial and Real Estate sectors. The Medical sector is definitely an area that Digital Cabinet’s cloud-based document management and digital forms platform can improve and help make more efficient.
Let’s examine how Digital Cabinet was successfully implemented into a physiotherapist practice.
Saving life and limb
It’s the physiotherapists’ job and calling to treat and help patients who have suffered severe life-threatening injuries as a result of traumatic accidents. To do that, they specialize in providing rehabilitation that prevents disability and restores patients’ normal movement and physical function, as well as treating a variety of conditions ranging from severe burns to musculoskeletal conditions.
The physiotherapy practice we helped is located in a Level 1 Trauma Centre and private hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, and provides the highest level of trauma care for those that need specialized diagnoses and treatment for the most severe of injuries. The team of physiotherapists, nine in all, are not only the on-call physiotherapists for the hospital, but also run outpatient rooms in the hospital for those that need ongoing treatment.
Accidents and trauma don’t keep a normal nine-to-five schedule; being a vital part of a Level 1 Trauma treatment means that there needs to be a physiotherapist there 365 days a year, and there needs to be a physiotherapist on call outside of normal hospital working hours too.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of people that are in desperate need of their help—their lives, the quality of their lives and their jobs often literally depend on it—and, as a result, a physiotherapy practice can treat a multitude of different patients that each need unique treatments to get them healthy and painless after a potentially life-changing accident or injury.
To do that, however, takes a lot of paperwork, and every moment wasted on paperwork is a lost second that could be used to treat a patient.
Paperwork and forms are the glue that holds together the entire medical profession: forms and charts are crucial to ensuring that the correct patient gets the right medication or treatment and that everyone is aware of what has been done. Everything from medical histories, hospital forms, consent forms, medical charts, etc, are all currently printed or written on pieces of paper and stored in a filing cabinet somewhere.
And, as we already know, the problem with paper is that it is inefficient.
Regardless of how well it is stored and safeguarded, it has a proclivity for getting lost, misplaced, or even damaged. Medical information is also private and personal, and to have a physical copy of something is a risk—a lock just isn’t very secure. Keeping track of paper is thus essential for any doctor and physiotherapist, but keeping track of great volumes of paper accurately and efficiently takes time and resources that physiotherapists, and all other medical practitioners, just can’t spare.
Add to that the problem that we’re not just talking about one patient here, but hundreds of patients, each with a multitude of different forms, with more every day, and it’s clear that having access to all this information immediately is crucial, and that a reliance on paper often means having to waste precious time while a form is completed or a record has to be located and delivered.
With that in mind, the physiotherapists turned to Digital Cabinet for assistance in making their work infinitely easier with our paperless document management platform and automated workflow solutions.
A graceful recovery
Digital Cabinet worked closely with the physiotherapists to design the perfect digital form for a physiotherapy practice’s needs.
Most importantly, care was taken to ensure the forms maintained the correct workflow, that the required paperwork is filed out methodically, completely and in the correct order.
So, for example: let’s say Casey was admitted to the hospital following her unfortunate pole-vaulting accident—her knee is in severe agony, and she is worried that her injury could mean that she will never be able to compete again. When she arrives at the hospital, Casey would immediately be examined and her details would be taken, usually, on a piece of paper.
This is the first process that was significantly improved: instead of paper, why not use a customized digital form? Why go through the trouble of having to safeguard this piece of paper until it can be digitized at a later time, when instead, digitizing and storing could be done during the act of filling out the form in the first place?
All Casey’s information—including her hospital number—can be stored digitally and encrypted, meaning that as soon as it is submitted, it is immediately available to all the practice and hospital staff that need access to her details—and inaccessible and unreadable to everyone else that does not have the required passwords or permissions.
Because the form is digital, Casey could even fill out her own intake form on her own mobile device as she waits in the waiting room—all she would need is a simple web link to click, or doctors could even have a QR code on the wall that, when scanned by a mobile device, automatically opens the intake form. Patients can even sign the form digitally, which is legally compliant in South Africa and many other parts of the world.
As soon as a form is submitted, by Casey or a physiotherapist, it is automatically filed in the practice’s Digital Cabinet and a unique hospital number is automatically generated. New folders and their required subfolders are created for every new patient—and in the case of returning patients, since each patient has a unique hospital number, every other form that follows their first visit has the option to search for and select an existing hospital number. When a new form type is submitted for an existing hospital number, Digital Cabinet automatically adds it to the correct patient folder for easy reference.
The next step would be the physiotherapist having to fill out an assessment form so that they can record Casey’s injuries, diagnosis and treatment. We designed these forms to have searchable dropdown lists of the ICD-10 codes so that Casey’s diagnosis can be qualified according to the worldwide standard, and so the information on possible complications and treatments can be shared efficiently between medical professionals (made even easier by the fact that her chart is already digital).
Even filling out referral or discharge forms to other institutions or home can be done digitally. Since all the information has already been provided, it is simply a matter of selecting the correct patient’s hospital number and using that information to automatically populate the form with the correct and relevant information.
A particular issue that was troubling the physiotherapists was that they would constantly have to physically transcribe and copy their patients’ Ongoing ICU Charts, taking up a lot of their time. We solved this laborious task by interfacing Digital Cabinet with a mobile device’s camera and now the physiotherapists can simply take a picture directly from the platform—no new apps need to be opened and the image is automatically stored in the correct place, and according to the correct patient, without the need to copy them manually.
As a result of this technology, Casey’s physiotherapists can focus all their attention on treating her, and don’t have to divert any more concentration or brainpower to any admin or paperwork.
Using Digital Cabinet, they know that all the information will be there when they need it.
Digital means that information is safer, it means that information is easily accessible and searchable, and most importantly, it means that access to information is immediate.
If every hospital has their own unique and idiosyncratic system, then that’s just an unnecessary layer of complexity that is prime to be overhauled and made more efficient. Imagine how much simpler healthcare can become if all our medical information was stored digitally and easily accessible to those who need it; if an EMS paramedic, for example, could simply look up a patient’s entire medical history at the scene of the accident, it could possibly save that person’s life.
It’s easy to see just how much a paperless system could revolutionize healthcare and our hospitals; how cloud-based document management, digital forms and automated workflow systems can take the focus away from admin and paperwork, and refocus it directly on the people who need that attention the most: patents that need medical care.
This same process, or something similar, can easily be applied to any number of different industries and verticals; paperless is not just a different way to do things, it is the future. Digital Cabinet could do the exact same for you, get in touch and let us help you discover paperless efficiency.