I struggle with my paperless office

Jasmine Woodward
Jasmine Woodward
Jasmine Woodward

I decided to start writing a lot more about my life, my job and my office.

I’m a 32 year old medical secretary from Long beach New York, originally from London England, married to a baker and our household is awake at 4 am every morning!

I finish at 5 pm, so quite a long day, but my husband is home by 2 pm.

Our time apart is a good time for me to write, so here goes

Becoming a medical administrative assistant was a challenging position with significant responsibilities, but my degree leant itself to this kind of job and the salary is excellent.

Although my job isn’t medical or overly patient-facing it doesn’t mean it isn’t one that requires a significant amount of dedication!

The responsibilities of being a medical administrator are rewarded with above average pay, and there is a reason for that!

I have identified some touchpoints I would like to share and I wonder how many other people have similar problems in their office environment ?

Dealing With Difficult Personalities

Communicating with patients very often means dealing with scared, confused, and angry people and the Consultants and doctors themselves can be very demanding in their own right!

A Heavy Workload because of a lack of joined up thinking !

Running a healthcare facility comes with a lot of paperwork and there is my gripe, thats the nub, that’s the rub, this is my complaint.

In a world of wireless internet and smartphones, I fail to understand why its all so complex and why the Printer still seems to be the shrine.

It’s like the kitchen space in a house where everybody congregates next to the coffee machine.

I have inherited a mish mash of paper written doctors notes, a central management system that was commissioned in 2004, files galore and paper doesn’t talk to computers !

It’s not joined up and feels cobbled together rather than strategically compiled.

Why is this a problem when ostensibly, we allegedly have a paperless office.

There seems to be a trust problem, as if “if its not written down it might be lost” culture

The paperwork is an important part of my job to keep the gears turning behind the scenes, enabling everyone else to do their job professionally.

But my day is impeded by file chasing and haulage !

Dealing With a Lack of Physical Activity 

As with most clerical roles, working medical administrative assistant is mostly a desk job.

While there is nothing wrong with working at a desk, most of us do it, being entirely desk-bound can have a negative effect on your health.

If you’re proactive enough to fit in the right kind of exercise to stave off the problems associated with office work, thats ok, I run almost every day, the park is beautiful, that bit I have overcome.

I am the Go-To Problem Solver

A constant never ending stream of requests and telephone calls with zero automation !

Clients cannot book into a central diary and the booking system still relies heavily on incoming telephone, very often into a disorganised Consultants diary shared with a private diary, its a constant problem with return calls and new arrangements .

With all this Covid kerfuffle I noticed such reliance on QR codes.

Quite clever I thought, so if its good enough for Government Departments its good enough for my office.

And here we are.

I identified about 10 areas I could implement QR codes, independently of the office metrics, and it has worked !

It has worked because my workload is much more manageable.

Here is what I achieved:

On my desk and around the clinic

A Brochure with QR linking to a dedicated booking email.

QR on the wall head height and large for:

Parking ticket redemption

Clinic map

Covid rules

Toilets

WiFi

Emergency ( on brochure as well )

Map geo code

Opening times

Staff

Payment ( links to website)

Clerical ( 10 codes )

Advisory ( 20 codes linked to you tube mainly )

Thank you for listening, maybe we will eventually go paperless, but for now using paper to connect to the Smartphone has been an outstanding success for managing my time !

Jasmine Woodward Newswire article August 2021

Failure of digital transformation haunts me.

Medical clinic
Paula Maynard
Paula Maynard, BA in medical administration with her assistants Sheri Holding and Emma Star

Failure of digital transformation haunts me.

Interviewed by a leading medical journal June 2021 newswire article

Moving from the public sector to the private sector was a big move for me in 2019

Working at a senior level within the NHS was rewarding but frustrating.

My dream was always to simplify, my dream turned into a never ending nightmare of failure.

Without pointing the finger at anybody in particular, the skill within the method was absent.

The NHS winner is still a paper based system, distributed by an army of messengers.

The Managers Digital dilemma

So when the Partners in the Medical Practice asked me to be more involved with digital transformation, I was full of apprehension and trepidation.

As I eased in to the project, I spoke to my husband who is a work flow graphic designer for a London Borough and he asked some strange questions which led to a realisation.

He asked to see my office, he wanted to look at the age of the equipment and the signage within the building.

He promised me a report, which came inside a pretty box and all that was inside was his Smart phone and a brochure.

Let me help he said.

A huge part of his programme for the borough was based on QR and what that QR is connected to, especially around the pandemic.

For me he printed a list of options QR can be joined up to, it was as long as your arm.

He explained that all the complexities of QR print and the Departments responsible were in one shared place called SLACK, and that was the clue, it was on his Smartphone.

“Everybody carries a Smartphone these days, the vast majority are QR enabled”

The mock brochure he made had 6 example dummy QR codes

They can be changed even after they have been printed!

Each had a call to action within the code.

Join WI-FI here

Reserve appointments here

Map location here

Free QR reader here

Pay for a consultation here

Front desk information

Going digital CAN be paper based !

Its full circle, the Partners like the idea as a start point

The idea of a brochure that connects to the clients smartphone resonated.

QR codes will also be used as a wall collage, designed by my husband of course!

Education videos, information videos and cartoon style info-commercials for specialist services within the practice.

This time my digital transformation fills me with confidence, and the reality is I was wrong all along.

Going digital CAN be paper based !

Paula Maynard, BA.

Interviewed by a leading medical journal June 2021 newswire article