Preparing for healthcare’s digital future
Across industries, businesses and institutions are migrating away from out-dated, time-consuming manual processes and towards automation and digitisation. For some, external pressures, such as a need to meet regulatory requirements prompts this; for others pressure results from internal reviews that lead to efficiency drives and targets to deliver cost and time savings.
Often, these reviews overlook external communications, despite these covering a range of channels which can be costly and time-consuming to manage. In healthcare, the size of the task is monumental, and the content of communications is often extremely sensitive.
Outgoing mail management: reasons to go digital
Through digitisation, outgoing mail management can be centralised, and aspects automated for consistency, efficiency and security. Best practice can deliver a range of benefits, including these top four for healthcare:
- Centralisation – often, a range of departments issue communications and this can result in a duplication of effort; even an overlap in messages. With web-based outgoing communications software for print and electronic channels, a single view of status and content is gained, with all authorised personnel able to view
Security – it is essential to protect patient confidentiality and comply with data protection rules. Often, printed mailings comprise a number of sheets and each patient must receive the correct pages. Intelligent folder inserters can respond to instructions from output management software to help ensure the right documents go to the right people, and provide an audit trail showing this
Error reduction – when separate primary data sources are used to complete fields such as patient contact details, errors can result. A single communications management tool gives more control over the process for accuracy and consistency
Time and cost savings – digitisation can cut down on time spent preparing and issuing communications. What’s more, it can deliver much-needed cost savings. When email can be used instead of postal mail, significant printing and postage savings can result. Where print is the right route to take, grouping together documents for the same recipient can cut back on avoidable postage.
Efficiency and accuracy are communication imperatives, none more so than in healthcare. Each message must be correct and reach intended recipients. When mailings number into the hundreds or thousands, ensuring the right documents go into the right envelopes and are sent to the right people is a challenge.
Accuracy-at-scale is needed. By adding barcodes to printed documents and tracking them from the time they’re generated to the time mail goes out, processes become more secure and more transparent. Digitised tools for managing outbound communications can work together for efficiency and security and help prepare healthcare for a digital future.
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Explosives in the mail
Last week, a mail-bombing campaign targeted several addresses across the UK. The packages, which were A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags, were sent to transportation hubs in England and Scotland, and were designed to start fires upon opening. Thankfully, only one of the packages ignited...