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Everyone wants to go green these days. There are practical reasons for taking this action, one of which is being good to the environment. Another one is to save money. Eco-friendly business practices can even help improve and maintain employee health and well-being.

Eco-Friendly Offices With Paperless Medical Records

Building A Sustainable Medical Practice

Many businesses are starting to go green. On the surface, it may sound like a challenge. It seems to be so easy not to live and work green. It is easy to believe that it is too late or too hard to be eco-friendly. However, going green in the workplace is much easier than many people think.

One example of advances towards sustainability in the healthcare industry is through the utilization of electronic medical information exchange. Most of the healthcare industry has turned to making medical records paperless. And it just makes sense. The medical world is forever changing, and everyone involved has to keep up.

Going paperless is not only good for the environment, but it can make sending and receiving the right records much easier and faster. Fulfilling third-party requests can become a seamless – and paperless – process by taking your records exchange online. Most medical professionals understand how important it is to keep the office eco-friendly. It will mostly take changing old habits and sometimes getting creative.

Here are 3 steps that can help you turn your workplace green

1. Go Paperless

An easy step towards going green is going paperless. More businesses are relying on keeping information on hard drives and cloud storage rather than in file folders. It just makes sense. Paper takes up so much space and often creates unnecessary clutter around the office. At one time, people used paper for everything. But times have changed, and we are living in an increasingly electronic world.

And it’s not just filed paperwork and paper in the printer either. Cups, folders, plates, notepads and envelopes are just a few items made of paper around the office. Is that much paper really needed during the workday? All that paper comes from trees that help support our ecological systems and remove pollutants from the air we breathe.

According to the Tech Republic, “Corrections, revisions, and updates on printed documents contribute to 90% of all office waste in the US, and remaining 10% is taking up space in storage facilities.” That is not right. The answer to this problem would be to go paperless. Companies can save the trees – and money – this way. Health information exchange platforms make it all possible. All you need is a computer and internet connection, and you can securely fulfill record requests online. More companies are turning to tech just to stay up and running. Practices can save money and time by going paperless. Tech Republic also adds: “According to a 2014 study conducted by Catalog Spree and PaperKarma, if the US alone cuts its office paper use by just 10% by moving to digital, it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 1.45 million metric tons—the equivalent to taking 280,000 cars off the road for an entire year.”

2. Turn Off Electronics When Not in Use

Another simple step to make the office more eco-friendly is to turn off electronics when they are not in use. This one may be hard to do at first but it makes so much sense. Unfortunately, employees waste electricity all the time and don’t even know it. They leave desktop computers and laptops on all day without using them. The printers are left on overnight without a single thought. Employees stand in front of the fridge with a blank stare on their faces as they decide what they want to eat. Afterward, they use the elevator when they could easily take the stairs. The heat or air conditioner gets left on when no one is in the room… And the list goes on.

Even those in the health information exchange business are guilty of this. It’s not unusual for computer users to leave their laptops plugged in at full battery when they are managing the transmission of medical records and other paperless data. Furthermore, the simple omission of cleaning and properly maintaining electronics can result in excessive waste.

According to Says: “Electrical appliances such air conditioners need consistent upkeep for them to perform efficiently. Remember to also change or clean your air filters to prevent dust from collecting.” Employees do not have to do much. They just have to remember things like turning off the lights while letting the sun light up a room naturally. It does not take much effort or exertion to flip a switch or push a button and turn off all electronics at the main source.

3. Create Monthly Green Challenges

People need motivation to get things accomplished. Decision-makers can create monthly green challenges around the office. This is such an easy system to set up. Office managers or administrators can create a chart with names of employees and keep track of what everyone does to make the office more eco-friendly. The prizes do not have to be big either. Employees can have something to look forward to when they turn off their computer after a long day of fulfilling record requests online – like an Amazon gift card.

According to Tech Republic: “Monthly team challenges can be a fun way of combining competition and going green. For example, you can challenge the office to go a month with no plastic eating utensils and reward those who stick with it by offering small prizes, such as coffee gift cards or snacks.” There might be some employees that are not interested in going green, but they may still love doing something just for prizes or accolades.

In Closing…

Going green is much easier than often believed. Businesses such as ours, a B2B health information exchange, are already doing it. We have helped medical offices turn their endless stacks of medical records into paperless, easily transmittable e-files. Other businesses, such as Starbucks, have done things like pledge to stop using plastic straws in the future. By following the three steps above, you can start making your office more eco-friendly – easily – and without stressing employees in the process.

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Chinh Phan

Author Chinh Phan

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