What's the Ecological Footprint of Your Private Practice? - Owl Practice Blog

What’s the Ecological Footprint of Your Private Practice?

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Take a look around your office. How much paper do you see?

Paperless offices have been promised since the mid-1980s, but it’s only been in the last ten years that those promises have become realized. Today, countless offices and practices around the world are shifting over to paperless workspaces. But why? Well, there are many reasons!

Saving the Environment

Reducing our carbon footprint has gone from a virtue to a necessity.

With climate change causing flooding, forest fires, and other ecological disasters, it’s up to everyone to reduce their personal carbon footprint to help save the planet. Moreover, it’s up to businesses of all sizes to streamline their operations to reduce waste and decrease carbon usage.

Going paperless in your practice has several benefits. First, going paperless contributes to saving virgin forests and dramatically reducing the amount of CO2 that gets released into the atmosphere. Processing a single tree removes approximately 110 lbs of carbon, not to mention reducing the number of trees absorbing CO2 around the planet. But there are more reasons to go green with your practice than just ecological. There are economic ones, as well!

Money Savings

You know the old saying, “photocopier manufacturers aren’t in the photocopier business; they are in the toner business”? The same goes for printer manufacturers! And fax machine manufacturers! The reality is that your initial investment into such devices rapidly turns into long-term dependence. For your office to function, you need to keep spending money on ink.

But not if you have a paperless office! Without printing and photocopying, you can save a bundle on your office supply overhead. That includes spending on blank printing paper (that will hopefully end up recycled, but unfortunately often ends up in landfills).

On top of that, if you move entirely to a paperless office, you can also free up some extra square footage in your practice. Without filing cabinets, photocopiers, and paper storage cluttering up your office, you’ll have some additional room to spread out and make your space more inviting.

If you’d like to see how much you could potentially save moving to a paperless office, check out this paperless office calculator!

Data Security

When working with paper records, the best you can usually do when it comes to secure storage is put them into a locked file cabinet. While that is secure enough for the day-to-day, what if there was a break-in? The information that your clients share with you is incredibly sensitive, which means that you want it to be as secure as possible. And the unfortunate reality is that paper simply isn’t that secure.

But do you know what is secure? Owl Practice! Everything you store with us is kept secure with bank-level encryption. In addition, we are PHIPA and College Compliant, and no data is stored locally on your devices. That means your data is secure even if you were to lose your phone, tablet, or laptop.

This system is ideal for travel, too. Rather than needing to take delicate paper records with you, you can instead access them wherever you have an internet connection and your devices.

But What About Note Taking?

One of the biggest reasons we hear why therapists can’t move to an entirely paperless office is because of their handwritten notes. When you’re in a client session, it’s important that you can take notes quickly, which often involves pen and paper. It’s a time-honoured tradition!

But the reality is that notebooks can rapidly become disorganized. Rather than dealing with writing in a notebook, what about doing your writing digitally? That’s what Owl Practice offers with our digital Handwritten Notes features!

Using a tablet and stylus, you can write your notes just like you would in a notebook. The only difference is that these notes will save automatically to your clients’ profiles. So rather than need to dig out your notebook to find your handwritten notes, everything will instead be right in our system. That means your handwritten notes will be as safe and secure as the rest of your practice’s valuable data!

Transitioning to a paperless practice not only helps the environment but can also save you time and money. When all of your documents are digital, they are easier to find and much more secure. To see what it would be like to work paperlessly, we invite you to sign up for a 14-day free trial of Owl Practice! If you have any other questions about our intake form features or comments about our services, please contact us at support@owlpractice.ca.

As Always,

Practice Wisely

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