The healthcare industry is one of the biggest and most important sectors in any economy and the digitization wave has swept over the healthcare industry too. Medical records scanning with the support of a digitization service provider ensures use of advanced tools that help doctors and hospitals to deliver the best results to patients.
Challenge Involved in Digitizing Medical Records
Maintaining medical records efficiently has always been one of the pillars of responsible medicine. With accurate and timely medical records, healthcare units can provide safe and effective treatment to their patients. EMR implementation has become mandatory now. Healthcare providers find it easy to enter the data of new patients into their electronic health record systems because there were no paper records to convert. However, when they started adding established patients (who already had an existing paper chart), they found it challenging mainly in two ways:
- How much of the existing paper chart has to be converted into electronic format
- How to make the majority of the existing clinical history available to the physician
Now let us look at some of the options available to convert paper records into electronic records.
Scanning the Medical Records – How to Go about It
- Scan all patient records into the EMR: Digitization is the ideal solution if you are running out of space. While the actual scanning can be performed by any staff, it is vital that a highly-skilled employee is entrusted with the task of filing the scanned records into the files of the appropriate patients.
- Partial scanning of medical records: To ensure that scheduled appointments are kept, you can choose to do a partial scan. Or, scan only the clinical information that is relevant for the upcoming appointments. Physicians can make the decision as to what information is relevant: first detailed exam, last two or three visits, problem list, latest lab results, past medical history and so on. This will help the physician to view all the relevant scanned records in the EMR system when the patient comes for the appointment.
- Scanning of patients’ summary page into the EMR: Maintaining a patient summary becomes very useful when there is an overflow of patients into the clinic or hospital. More patients will start to have an electronic track record established quickly. When you see them in the office, you can add any extra information.
- Outsourcing to digitization services: If you want to scan all the medical records, then outsourcing to reliable medical data entry service provider will prove cost-effective.
- Exclude old information from the EMR system: It is better not to scan old information into your EMR system. From the time you implement EMR, document only in the EMR and refer to the past records only as long as you need them. After some time, you may not need to consult the paper record any more. Scanning only the relevant and reliable medical records will allow you to maintain your medical records clean and safe. The goal is to minimize the amount of work spent on scanning information.
Medical record scanning of vital data increases efficiency, reduces the chances of duplication of medical records, enables quick retrieval of data, enhances intelligence capabilities like medical and prescription drug interaction alerts and treatment reminders, and provides quality measures for customizing and showcasing data in the required formats for specific medical specialties.