In the past decade, there has been a surge in the number of health care organizations that have adopted document management platforms in whole or to at least prop up paper processes. Such adoption grants both providers and patients access to a host of benefits, and only serves to underscore that those who haven't moved to more comprehensive approaches would be wise to do so in the near future.

The benefits of using an all-encompassing document management platform in a medical practice are relatively straightforward: No patient data gets lost in the shuffle, everything is accessible with a few mouse clicks and keystrokes and perhaps most importantly, security is significantly stronger, according to Healthcare Tech Outlook. On top of all that, these systems typically create a visible and easy-to-track chain of custody, so it's always easy to determine which health care professionals have looked at or altered documents.

It's just common sense
Even beyond all that, laws regarding the kinds of data that need to be collected for patients – and how it must be stored, protected and accessed – are always evolving, and any practice that hasn't taken all appropriate steps to keep up is putting itself at risk of censure, the report said. That fact on top of the added peace of mind that comes with additional layers of data security should be enough, in and of itself, to spur care providers that haven't yet done so to adopt modern document management practices.

Going paperless is possible
While the vast majority of care providers now use at least some kind of document management platform, the idea of transitioning to being completely paperless may seem difficult, according to Health Tech Zone. However, getting as close to zero as possible will help with everything from security to operational efficiency, and may be easier than many care providers probably realize – as long as there is full organizational buy-in on the effort and the right investments are made.

Certainly, this means health care decision-makers should examine all their options and find the one that best fits their organizational and financial needs going forward.