September 21, 2012 by Tom Zeliff Categories: Document Management

According to the January 2012 Monthly Labor Review published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 600,000 new healthcare jobs were created between 2006 and 2010—the most of any other industry in the U.S. Will this trend continue? Yes: between 2010-2020 The health care and social assistance sector is projected to gain the most jobs (5.6 million).

The Healthcare Financial Management Association reported, “Labor costs now account for more than 60% of total healthcare expenses. Increasing turnover, rising vacancy rates and temporary agency utilization all contribute to increasing labor expenses—partly because many healthcare systems do not efficiently manage these expenses and productivity. It is critical that healthcare organizations invest in solutions that improve efficiencies in human resources departments.”

Automation Now, Sanity Later

What does all this mean aside from the fact that Baby Boomers are getting older and needing more care? That’s right: a massive influx of paperwork in healthcare HR departments who do not yet utilize document management for employee records (in addition to patient records), and not being able to pass along the entire cost burden directly to patients in the form of price increases. How do we deal with this explosive growth and the surge of new employee on-boarding and performance reviews? Office automation.

Healthcare HR departments need to consider implementing the following now, even if you’re able to handle things today with manual, paper-based processes—it appears inevitable that this is only a short-term solution. Office automation is the long-term solution, and consists of the following parts:

  • Electronic Forms: streamlining any process begins with capturing as much information as possible electronically with iPads or tablets used to obtain signatures; for example, e-forms are not just fillable PDFs but also allow for automated data extraction into an HRM system, expediting processing and minimizing data entry related errors; Tip: start with the new employee on-boarding process to handle applications, I-9s and benefit enrollment forms.
  • Document Scanning: scan all incoming documents as well as those in your file cabinets to easily store, access and share documents and minimize risk of loss; Tip: outsource both scanning and even the mailroom to the professionals.
  • Document Management: even a simple solution helps ensure that knowledge workers can quickly find information via integration with HR systems, and that documents are never lost due to mistakes or disasters; Tip: store them in the cloud and avoid capital expenditures.
  • Workflow Automation: automating business processes generates the biggest return on investment and gives management visibility into these processes to measure efficiency, identify bottlenecks and resolve problems; Tip: start by automating the application process (application, salary negotiation, interviewing, etc.) or the employee review process.

The Bottom Line

Healthcare is one of the largest growing industries for jobs in the US. Along with these new hires comes paperwork. The best way to manage this growth is by managing documents electronically. Let us know if we can help.