Dentists could be among those to benefit from going paperless.
A dentist who is reaping the benefits of a paperless office has encouraged other people in the same profession to consider following his example.
Dr Kent Stapley told Dental Economics magazine he was a relatively late adopter of digital technology, but has already been amazed by the benefits it provides.
He pointed out that it is not just enormous, high-tech surgeries that can benefit, but also smaller practices too.
For example, Dr Stapley said digital radiography has been the single biggest productivity gain, as it means there is no wait for film to be developed and sorting through pictures has been made significantly easier.
"These benefits also apply to digital X-rays. If you have not already gone digital, consider it," he commented.
However, this is not the only form of paperless technology that Dr Stapley has brought in. He is also making use of a service that allows patient details including insurance, financial forms and release documents to be scanned into a central system and then organised for rapid data mining, as well as the facility to send electronic prescriptions via the internet.
"Digitising documents will free up an amazing amount of office space and has the additional benefit of helping you easily find and retrieve patient forms from your computers," he pointed out.
"I am amazed at the technology my office uses as compared to just a few years ago. My office is living proof that a practice can benefit from the adoption of simple, paperless technology … I wonder why I waited so long to add paperless innovations," Dr Stapley concluded.
This echoes recent comments from Nitin Chhoda, a practice marketing specialist and physical therapist, who told the San Francisco Chronicle he thinks all kinds of healthcare practitioners who transfer to electronic document storage from paper will find it makes their lives much easier.