Computerized Medical Records: Where to Start?
Even though the benefits of computerized medical records are clear, it can still seem like a daunting task of knowing where to start in transitioning from manual to automated processes. This article provides some beneficial tips for getting started and handling the process from start to finish in the most efficient way possible.
Steps Closer to Computerized Medical Records
One of the first steps is to decide on handling the transition in-house and simply migrate to software. Or, you may opt for a more complete solution in the form of an outsource company that can not only handle setting up the computerized medical records process for you, but they can also manage the process seamlessly going forward without charging you for their technology or use of their expertly trained professionals and take on additional time-consuming administrative tasks.
Once this decision is made, there are some other tips to remember when making this transition:
- Old files along with current files should be scanned because request for information from those files can be allowed over a period of many years and must be kept in case the information is needed for a trial or related legal matter.
- It is better to completely migrate to an electronic system of medical records than try to maintain both paper and paperless. There is no need to duplicate efforts.
- Be sure to follow HIPAA rules and regulations for destroying paper files once all information has been computerized. There is no reason to create risk exposure by handling this in the wrong way. It is best to consult with a legal professional on how to best handle the destruction of any medical records no matter how old these records may be.
- Leave the scanning to the experts rather than contemplating hiring temps to do the job just because you have an office scanner. Even if you get background checks on these people, there still can be security breaches. Plus, temps are not aware of HIPAA guidelines and will not have any legal context for how they should scan the documents. This is why working with an outsource company on handling the changeover to electronic format just makes for smart business sense.
When moving to the hi-tech world of electronic medical records, remember the following tips:
- Consider using an outsource company that has trained professionals who understand the rules and regulations and can offer the technology and the value-added service of taking on additional administrative tasks to save you even more time and money.
- Be careful with how you handle older medical records and how you choose to destroy them once they have been scanned into a computer file.
- Don’t try to balance precariously between the traditional paper record keeping and computer record keeping. Migrate completely to an electronic format so you can minimize risk, gain more space, and save additional money.
Fig Gungor is CEO of OneSource Document Management, a New York based company that offers a broad range of customized copy and scanning services that translate into a significant savings for insurance companies, hospitals and large medical facilities.