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Electronic Medical Records Versus Electronic Health Records

By Cathey Lee Subscribe to RSS | February 3rd 2012 | Views:
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Research reports and articles are increasingly touting that the “paperless” medical office as key way to build efficiency, accuracy, and productivity while increasing customer service and cutting extraneous costs. As part of the advent of the paperless medical office, medical record scanningis among the primary solutions for migrating a medical practice to a completely paperless environment.

The Value of Medical Record Scanning

Among the top five tools to make an office paperless, Mashable validated online record keeping as a valuable tool. As the article noted:

“Even if your company has gone digital in a number of paper-centric areas, perhaps the over-arching challenge, especially for small businesses, is archiving your records and files. Often this data is disparate, spread between e-mails, computer files, and paper records. But if you’re diligent about maintaining a searchable, web-based archive of the items listed above, the dividends paid in time and money saved will be enormous in the long-run. Depending on the volume of your existing paper records, it may not be cost effective to digitize older files. But if you start fresh by printing to PDF instead of paper going forward, you can create your web-accessible archive with a number of services.”

This means that medical record scanning could assist in archiving records and files while better managing access to data across many channels.

Another article on Buzzle by a medical practitioner noted other things to think about in terms of whether this avenue is the complete solution to the paperless medical office:

“Also be sure to consider the communication styles between practitioners; many of these professionals will not be ready for an electronic medical records system in the near future. Some estimates state that approximately seven to ten percent of medical practices are using EMR at the office right now….If you decide to scan all of your paper records into an electronic format, still you may not succeed at completely eliminating the use of paper forms at your practice. Some paper-based forms must be kept for legal and regulatory compliance.”

The conclusions for this practitioner were that, because of the above reasons, it may be a while before medical record scanning is adopted wide enough so as to create the completely paperless medical office. The key to inching closer to a complete paperless office will be to get a higher percentage of professionals to move to this process by showing them the myriad of cost and service benefits that are not just possible, but likely.

Cathey Lee - About Author:
Fig Gungor is CEO of OneSource Document Management, a New York based company that offers a broad range of customized copy and scanning services regarding electronic health records

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