- Reid Hanson
Paper vs. Digital Workflows
Let's play a game. I am going to give you a list of 10 statements and if it applies to you, give yourself a point.
My company regularly utilizes physical paper documents to obtain relevant information about the decedent.
I have spent hours sifting through paperwork to find the information necessary for billing.
My mortuary technicians spend much of their time focused on paper work.
You've ever lost a document.
You've ever lost a document during the chain of custody.
You've found documents that were incorrectly filed.
You've had difficulties deciphering someone's handwriting.
You've gathered redundant information.
You don't have your documents backed up.
Your documents take up a significant amount of space in your office.
Do you have more than 5 points? If so, it might be a good time to consider migrating from your physical paper documents and moving to a digitized solution.
Pursuing a digital migration of your documents, or even simply transitioning to a digital workflow offers a myriad of time and resource conservation opportunities.
By moving from a manual paper process to a digitized workflow, you save your company time simply due to the fact that all of the information for billing, embalming instructions, medical examiner notes, etc. exist within one centralized location. Rather than spend time sifting through physical documents in search of a single piece of information, time is saved by performing that same search using a few simple keystrokes. Additionally, having digitized documentation removes a lot of the guesswork that goes into deciphering another person's handwriting. Many states have laws dictating the need to store decedent documentation for an established period of time. More often than not, these documents collect dust in filing cabinets. Unless your mortuary service company has an immaculate filing system that would make Monica from Friends proud, it is highly unlikely that you would be able to find the document in case of an audit. And let's be honest, who doesn't love the sweet, sweet benefit of adhering to regulatory compliance?
While burst pipes, fires, and catastrophes might seem the likeliest of culprits resulting in permanent document loss, human error plays a large factor in these situations. The reality is, mortuary services are held liable in case one of these documents is needed regardless of whether or not a disaster occurred. It's never intentional to lose a document, but as we're familiar with this industry, unfortunate things happen. By storing your documents on a secure server, you reduce the risk of losing documents. And if you happen to be an overachiever and you've managed to migrate all of your past documentation into the cloud, you can clear out the filing cabinets, and finally display your authentic velociraptor maquette from Jurassic Park that you may or may not have purchased during an inebriated eBay binge. Don't worry, we won't tell.
At any rate, with the state of the world not quite having returned to some semblance of normalcy with the pandemic and the threat of global warming on the horizon, going paperless reduces your environmental impact and probably boosts your karma.
Empathy and professionalism are always required; handwritten paperwork isn't.