Digitizing Medical Files for Use with Your EMR/EHR Can Be Painless When Adhering to Best Practices
Two decades into the effort to go paperless, medical records and patient charts still stuff file rooms in doctor's offices and hospitals across the country. It's a problem that can leave patients, records and medical organizations at risk, but the cost and complexity of converting piles of records that include everything from EKG strips to handwritten physician notes is intimidating, to say the least.
Meanwhile, if you're a doctor or a hospital administrator, you've got a backlog of information that can't be easily accessed when you need a complete medical history, are working remotely or when you need to comply with requests for records.
Paperless Advantages without Disruption
You already know the benefits of electronic health and medical records: from instant and remote access to complete records, to worry-free compliance with HIPAA, Medicare and Medicaid requirements, electronic medical records can bring dramatic improvements.
What you don't know is the best way to go about the transition. Do you attempt a do-it-yourself (DIY) operation or outsource? Which records? By what method?
If you opt to move forward with digitizing all new files going forward, you're left with a two-layered system that can create confusion, especially if you are simultaneously attempting to convert older records a little at a time. Some records may be scannable, some will likely require conversion and migration from a legacy document management system. Some may even require manual data entry. And how do you ensure that the process is efficient, error-free and secure?
Document Management Software
Best-of-breed document management software, integrated with your EHR/EMR system, has all the innovations you need to streamline the process – including cloud-based and mobile options that also align with your back-office systems. It's worry free, secure, and provides access to any patient record, anytime, from anywhere. Third-party document management software, developed and refined over the years, tends to also be easier to use and is more efficient than document management bolt-ons from the EHR/EMR vendors. However, EMR/EHR document management modules may rival some third-party document management software and be bundled in a way that offers the best deal.
Learn Best Practices
To go paperless once and for all, in the smoothest and most painless way possible, starts by knowing what to do and the trade-offs from different approaches so you can make the right choice. Our Medical Records Scanning Best Practices whitepaper evaluates in-house vs. outsourced scanning, standalone vs. EHR/EMR document management modules and more to get you on the right track.