What do you do when you want to start converting all your paper medical records into electronic records? The process you must undergo requires you to be very cautious.
There are some hurdles healthcare professionals have to overcome regarding how to handle their health care files, which sometimes makes the digitizing process more time-consuming. Some hurdles include things such as state laws that determine the amount of time you have to hold on to your records, the amount of time you have to scan all of your files, the price for outsourcing your file scanning services, and what you should do with your paper files after having them scanned. There are many reasons you should have electronic medical records (EMRs), and you will want to transition to a digital format as safely and painlessly as you can. Here is what you need to know when going from paper medical records to EMRs.
Consider Cost, Time, and Privacy
Going from paper files to EMRs is straightforward. All you need to do is get your portions of the paper records scanned and add the historical information on them in your EMR system.
However, most practices will see a couple thousand patients every year, and they also have multiple records for each of those patients for as long as seven years. This means you will end up with quite a bit of paperwork.
It is possible your practice could have whole rooms used solely for holding paper records, and it can be intimidating trying to convert them all to EMRs by hand. However, if you hire a third-party company to handle your scanning for you, this task can be far less troublesome for you. Just ensure that you select a dependable company because you don’t want to run into HIPAA violations later on, among other concerns you may have with privacy, and you want to be sure your files get filled out to the right standards.
Not Everything Has to Be Converted
While you may have a seemingly overwhelming number of documents you want to convert, keep in mind that not all of them need to be digitized. You can choose to convert only the documents that hold the most vital information, such as documents from the most recent visits, lists of medications, and medical histories.
You can save time by utilizing this kind of hybrid approach because you will not have to scan as many documents, and when you get new patients, they will be added to the EMR right away.
Your staff will gradually become accustomed to using EMRs and be less dependent on paper files, making the conversion from paper files to EMRs much easier.
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