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Document Scanning – A Necessary Step before EMR Conversion


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Document scanning is an important step before the transition to EMR. This article provides an overview of what is involved in medical document scanning.

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Document Scanning – A Necessary Step before EMR Conversion

  1. 1. Document Scanning – A Necessary Step before EMR Conversion Document scanning is an important phase in the EMR transition process, and involves the conversion of paper files into electronically formatted records. These can then be conveniently imported into the EMR system. In a medical practice, patient records need to be scanned, indexed, stored and distributed. Indexing of patient records is a rather detailed process and patient reports need to be identified by name/medical record number, report type and other required fields. This service is helpful for doctors as well as medical institutes as the records created can be used for reference, and for review as well as the ongoing treatment of a patient. Understanding What to Scan Scanning of paper records in a medical practice can be a mammoth project with many years of paper records to scan and index. Either all records can be scanned, or it could be decided to include only portions of patient files in the conversion and maintain and store the paper files separately. This is to be done after careful consideration on a case by case basis. Factors that have a role to play in this decision are the type of specialty, need for access to specific sections of the medical chart, space available, budget, frequency of patient visit and provider preferences. Apart from patient records, other documents that can be scanned include:  Insurance Bills  Technical Reports  Health Service Provider Notes  Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) Factors to Consider with Regard to Document Scanning
  2. 2.     Whether physical space is available for installing scanning equipment and accessories; whether it should be done on-site or at an offsite scanning facility The workflow to be implemented with minimum disruption and distraction to physicians and patients Measures to ensure quality, accuracy and HIPAA compliance How to avoid misplaced medical records that could have an impact on the daily functioning and provision of patient care Benefits of Medical Record Scanning Document scanning in the field of medicine plays an important role in:  Saving space which can be utilized for other work  Reducing operational costs incurred for the maintenance and preservation of paper documents  Enabling quick and easy search of documents as well as enabling easy modification  Ensuring security of information and data  Allowing sharing of data among as many people as required  Saving printing cost and saving the environment by saving paper If self-managing the document scanning requirements seems highly challenging, medical practices can go for document scanning outsourcing. This is a good strategy for practices that are not able to accurately plan for the true costs and the load of temporary workforce. It will also help avoid the risk of liability of a breach and save valuable time. Document scanning solutions come with a number of advantages which include:  Quality and error-free output  Delivery of records within the stipulated time  Task performed by highly experienced and skilled professionals  Affordable rates  Enables the organization to concentrate on core business  Access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology  Confidentiality of the records ensured  Flexible and efficient services  24/7 assistance
  3. 3.  Efficient use of in-house manpower as staff is spared of the routine operations and scanning jobs.