Illustration of a dinosaur and a stack of paper

Paper Will Be A Thing Of The Past And Here's Why

December 7, 2016 | Article | By: Kerrie-Ann Bernard

Discussions about the “Paperless Office” have been happening for nearly 40 years. With rapid advances in both software and hardware, the dream of a paperless office is finally coming to fruition. In fact, we’re at a tipping point in which the cost of continuing to operate a clinic entirely on paper is greater than investing in paperless digital solutions. So, what is the cost of using paper? We break it down.

Hidden Costs

First, there’s the real cost of buying paper for your practice. Not to mention the cost of photocopiers, fax machines, toner, ink, mailing costs, filing cabinets and storage. Taking these side costs into consideration, paper ends up costing up to 31 times the initial price. So, that $5 ream of paper that doesn’t seem like a huge expense suddenly costs you $155 in printing, copying, storage and filing costs. If you use one 500 sheet ream of paper a week at your clinic, that’s over $620 in paper costs in one month alone, a cost you wouldn’t have if you went entirely digital. In fact, you could get 18 subscriptions to a paperless charting app like ours for less than that.

Storage and Disposal

When handling medical records, there are the added costs of storing files for the legally required length of time and properly disposing of records. Inside Counsel Magazine estimates it costs about $143.49 USD to destroy a single box of files. When you consider all of that, it makes sense to step back and find digital solutions to lower your paper use, storage, and disposal costs. Better yet, if you’re just starting your practice, it just makes fiscal sense to go digital. Especially when “paper records cost between 20 to 100 times more to store and manage than their electronic counterparts”, paper just doesn’t make sense.

Environmental Impact

We’ve only got one planet; it’s a cliche but also the truth. Paper is one of the most energy-intensive products to produce and “The average worker in an office uses 10,000 sheets of paper annually.” That has a massive impact on our environment as the global need for paper puts increasing pressure on the environment. Consider that “Over 40% of wood pulp goes toward the production of paper.” and your decision to go paperless can have a huge environmental impact

So what can you do if your practice runs primarily on paper? Well, you can start small by switching to an electronic charting application, like InnoCare Charting. That alone will save you reams of paper and storage space. If you’re just starting out, it only makes sense to skip paper and go straight to digital with practice management software like InnoCare Software; you’ll lower your start-up costs as well as your long-term operating expenses.

Go paperless today, try electronic charting on us for 30-days!