Document Management & Workflow Blog

25 Jul 2016 Colin Graf

Benefits of Medical Records Scanning & Outsourced Document Management

Healthcare Workflow Automation & HIPAA Compliance

Management of paper medical records is a common problem. They take up
a lot of space, are time consuming to pull and present numerous HIPAA
compliance challenges.

Is there a better way for clinics, physicians
groups and hospitals to get their paper records into their electronic
health/medical record (EHR/EMR) software that won’t break the bank? Yes,
there is.

To scan all of your paper charts and other medical records, you have two options:

Option 1: DIY

first option is to do it yourself. It’s tempting to scan them on your
copier/MFP or to purchase a inexpensive desktop scanner. The question
that you need to ask: who is going to do the scanning, can they be
trusted to properly index these files so they can be found later, and
can the equipment handle your volume. You will face a complicated decision at this point. Do you hire someone and run with the operation in-house? Or do you outsource it to another country?

Option 2: Outsource

second option is to have a third party scan your medical records. Since
many service bureaus offer this service, how can you effectively
compare them? Based on our experience, here are the top five criteria:

  1. Experience: how many medical records have they scanned before and what EHR/EMR systems have they worked with?
  2. Process:
    how do they describe their process for prepping, scanning and indexing,
    what is the expected turnaround time and how do they manage making
    charts available while they’re scanning?
  3. Quality Control: how do you know that all of your records were scanned and indexed properly?
  4. Security: How secure is their facility, and are they SOC II Type 2 & HIPAA certified?
  5. Flexibility:
    can they scan onsite, and can they effectively scan all types of
    records? (e.g. labs, ECG/EKG strips, fetal monitoring strips, microfilm/microfiche, x-rays, physician notes, etc.)

Ingestion into EHR/EMR Systems

addition to eliminating the manual labor of pulling charts the day
before patients are seen, scanning paper medical records allows this
information to be searchable and accessible via your EHR/EMR system like
EPIC, Cerner, NextGen, and more – by nurses and doctors alike. In this
way, doctors can review patient charts from their home office or from a
mobile device.

Because the document management capabilities of
EHR/EMR systems fall short of what you need, we can implement document
management software like ApplicationXtender (AX) from EMC. We can even
integrate AX so that users can search for records from within your
EHR/EMR system with embedded AX code that pulls documents from the AX
repository and displays them in your EHR/EMR so users don’t have to log
into two different systems. It’s so transparent that your users may not
even know AX exists.

Enhanced Patient Care & Increased Revenues

scanning all of your medical records, you can find more information
about each patient faster, which can enhance your quality of care. By
eliminating the space where paper charts are stored, you may even have
enough space to see more patients. And with a completely digital medical
record, some physicians provide their patients with all of their medical
documentation on a USB stick for a nominal charge (like $50), which can
be a revenue generator.

Whatever your reason for wanting to scan your paper medical records, contact MetaSource today to get started.