If you haven’t heard, document scanning and digitizing is a crucial step in a business’ advancement into the modern age. Having your documents scanned can lower production time, increase communication and collaboration in your team, increase accessibility, free up office space, and most importantly save you money! However, these are just a few of the bonuses that document scanning can offer to any business. There are several benefits exclusive to the healthcare industry that are offered through medical records scanning.
#1 – Access and Storage
Storing patient charts is a cumbersome process, from finding the space to store them, to sorting between active and inactive patients, dealing with misfiled records, and, of course, having to physically find them and pull them out for use. Once these charts are scanned and uploaded into an EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system; you’ll be able to access them quickly, always store them correctly, and not have to find space to house them.
With more patients to see and ever-growing demands; those in the medical field can’t risk falling behind on their duties. If a patient sees a doctor and later wants the answer to a specific question or wants to see their medical records right away, it can be quite the hassle. Someone will have to stop what they’re doing, go down to records, find the patient’s records, copy them, and then deliver them to the patient. Whereas if they had an EMR system, the files would be able to be located with a simple search and emailed to the patient in minutes. This keeps the medical professionals free to do their more important work and keeps the patients happy.
#2 – Cost Savings Over Time
The implementation of an EMR system is an investment. You will require less personnel to manage your records, less space to store them, and less security to protect them.
Paper documents, especially medical records, have very personal information on them that is a great legal risk and needs to be protected. This can lead to the need for surveillance cameras or even guards. All these things cut into your bottom line and prevent growth, but once the EMR is in place and you cut back on space and personnel and security; your business will grow faster than ever.
#3 – Security
Electronic documents and the systems they are stored on allow for greater efficiency and productivity within an office. A 2015 study from Software Advice found that:
- Traditional offices spend an additional six hours per week searching for documents.
- Workers in traditional offices spend eight hours a week creating reports for paper documents. A task that digital offices can make significantly easier with document management solutions.
Since there is usually only one copy of paper documents, the loss of a document is an irreversible disaster. On the other hand, electronic documents are sorted with premade automations so human error is significantly less likely to occur, they can be backed up onto multiple systems, and they can be encrypted. With multiple copies saved and backed up, you can rest assured that even during natural disasters or surprise power outages, your files will remain safe.
With cloud hosting, the files are encrypted and stored on offsite servers; they are only accessible with a unique login that will decrypt them. This security helps keep out unauthorized individuals and can track exactly who has logged on with their unique ID and what they did. To preserve the integrity of documents, you can also lock them and prevent future edits or duplication. It’s quite simply the best security your records could have.
#4 – Accuracy and Readability
We’ve all heard the jokes about how terrible doctors’ handwriting can be, from mistaking a few letters, to being unable to decipher a complete scribble. This confusion isn’t just found on the patient end when trying to get a prescription filled, but also for all other medical professionals who need to review those records later. If a physician or staffer can’t decipher the writing they are reading (properly), it will at least put a slow down on their process while they find someone who can read it or the original physician who wrote it. However, at most there could be medical mistakes made and improper care given to a patient. With patients suing practitioners more than ever, it’s best to give yourself every advantage against a malpractice case as possible. Electronic medical records that are typed in perfectly legible font assure an easy and accurate read for anyone trying to understand the information.
With all these factors coming together, there is no reason to wait to get your medical records digitized. It adds to your HIPAA compliance best practices, reduces costs, increases security, improves accuracy, and, most importantly; makes the lives of you and your patients easier.