As we do most months, my team and I attend trade events for a variety of industries. One week could have us speaking about improving compliance at a conference for financial advisors, the next demonstrating our solutions to legal pros, and another talking improving incident reporting with law enforcement.
During these information gathering sessions, we often ask the same question – what problem are you looking to solve? The top answer, regardless of title, department or even when wearing a shield, continues to be similar; I’m spending too much time on paperwork – filling out forms, completing reports or responding to general correspondence.
The paperwork burden on professionals is extremely high, with many reporting nearly 50% of an average workday consumed by documentation. And for all the talk of digital transformation, many organizations still rely on timely, less accurate input methods – namely, manual documentation, to get paperwork done.
These documentation hardships impact all areas of a business and can produce inefficiencies across an organization – from a decrease in productivity and increased costs, reporting inaccuracies and noncompliance, and in some cases, employee burnout, or to the very extreme, officer safety.
Documentation challenges facing these and other professionals mirror the results of a recent national survey, which found that 89% of financial advisors say they struggle with heavy documentation demands because of increased regulations and governance within their industry.
Physicians are another example of a workgroup impacted by paperwork burnout. According to industry survey data, physicians spend nearly 2 hours documenting medical notes within the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and on administrative “desk” work for every 1 hour of direct patient care. Couple this with heavy workloads and unreasonable time pressures on the job, and it’s a combustible mix with paperwork at the center.
The news is not all grim. With today’s powerful documentation solutions, as just one example, paperwork can get done faster and smarter, and add mobile to the mix, at any time and from any location. With new documentation workflow solutions, professionals no longer need to sit behind a desk completing paperwork, or worse, finishing it up after hours.
Organizations that benefit from digital documentation tools also produce more accurate and compliant reports, and for professions whose outcomes are based on the details captured within reporting (think compliance in financial services; incident reporting in law enforcement; case matter for the legal industry; to medical records management in healthcare), being able to document with more specificity is a must.
When all is said and done, alleviating the paperwork burden on professionals can further help them focus their time back to what matters most – serving their communities, clients and customers, and with less time spent completing reports after hours, they can spend more time with family and friends; similarities that all industries can embrace.