How to Handle Filing and Paper Backlog
Ah yes! Filing… A seemingly monotonous, menial task that most office support task dread. Many people perceive filing as a task that anyone that knows the alphabet can do, even with their eyes closed. You know. The underachiever, the task for the low man on the totem pole, the educationally-challenged, if you will.
Then comes the filing backlog. Essentially, ‘papers gone wild.’ Consequently, such ‘papers gone wild’ can wreck havoc on the functionality of any business, especially the functionality of a medical office environment.
For the millions of office support staff that are currently employed in a medical office environment, you can definitely attest to this situation.
It starts as a subtle problem. A “few” unfiled papers here, a “few” unfiled papers there. Suddenly, a “few” unfiled papers become MASSES of unfiled papers that have backlogged out of control! Nothing can be more embarrassing and stressful for office support staff, than scampering around at the last minute looking for dictation, lab reports, a prescription script, and other pertinent patient documents, that somehow were never filed into the patient’s chart. Especially, the day of the patient’s appointment.
How do I know so much about filing backlog and its capability of wrecking havoc on the functionality of a business, particularly in a medical office environment? Because as a former office support specialist/file clerk for a well-known temporary staffing agency, I know all too well the importance of and the consequences of not having pertinent paper work filed away into a patient’s chart. I inadvertently learned the art of quickly and accurately restoring filing backlog, and consequently, became a commodity to the temporary staffing agency that I worked for, as well as the companies, in which I was assigned to work.
To provide an example, several years ago, I was assigned to work at a medical office wherein they were experiencing a MAJOR filing backlog to say the least. This particular medical office had 6 months of filing backlog, in which I was able to bring current in a month.
I realize that to some of you reading this blog, probably think this is exaggerated, but it is true. It took a lot of tenacity, diligence, and follow-through on my part, but it is an accomplishment that I am most proud of. I did such a wonderful job, that I was asked back again, 3 months later to, you guessed it: restore their filing backlog again. I didn’t mind at all. I love filing, even if it is deemed as a menial task by many people.
In essence, after realizing that I had such a knack for restoring filing backlog: I decided to turn it into a business niche. Although, I currently do not have any customers I am certain that I will.
How to Handle Filing backlog:
1. Realize that procrastination won’t help! Be certain this how your paper work became backlogged in the first place. Accept the situation and begin working on the filing backlog as quickly as possible.
2. Begin sorting older filing/paperwork by the first letter of the patient’s last name and placing them in an rollable, expandable alphabet folder. To get the most benefit out of this step, use a paper clip to attach all paperwork associated with each patient’s name to be filed away in the patient’s chart.
3. If your office has has incoming file box for current dictation, laboratory reports, prescription scripts, telephone triage messages, etc. begin filing these immediately, or as soon as possible. Keeping current paper work filed into patient charts is key, while you work to restore your filing backlog.
4. Once you have your current paper work filed away in patient charts, begin working on older filing each day, as time permits, beginning with the A’s. Strive to do a letter each day, if possible. Can’t find the patient’s chart? Go look for it! Looking for the chart and filing away the patient’s paperwork right then, is a lot better than waiting for the file to return to file or chart area.
5. If none of these steps are possible, due to time constraints, being under staffed, or your business or office is just plain ‘knee deep’ in filing backlog, so to speak: contact a reputable employment agency, wherein you can obtain a temporary File clerk to eliminate your ‘papers gone wild.’
For additional information about to handle filing backlog and/or to receive help eliminating your filing/ backlog email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional questions on how to handle filing backlog and/or if you need assistance with eliminating your filing backlog contact K E Robinson at email@example.com.
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