All About Hybrid Record Keeping
The debate over whether it is best for a medical, legal or recording keeping organization to hold paper or digital records has a third option. HHR (Hybrid Health Records) presents flexibility for you, your clients and your stakeholders but there are drawbacks to mixing up your record storage types.
What is Hybrid Record Keeping?
Hybrid record keeping is where an organization like Record Grabber opts not for just paper records, nor for just digital, but a combination of the two. This can mean either that some types of record are paper and others are digital, or it means multiple copies of the same record depending on how you structure your files.
Hybrid is a workable standard, but there are potential problems when the system is not handled properly.
Advantages to Hybrid Record Keeping
The main advantage to using hybrid sets of record is that you will have multiple outlets for acquiring and storing your records. If one system fails (such as a cloud server breakdown) you will have back-ups (hard disk, paper format etc) with which you can carry on working.
The second advantage is that you can stagger and vary your access. Rather than changing permissions on a digital file where some can edit and others may simply view, the paper backups are ideal for those with fewer permissions. HHRs add flexibility for your organization and flexibility is required no matter how big or small.
Hybrid systems work better for patients. A request for information release is problematic when based solely on paper. When there is an electronic form, it is easier to print while retaining the original document. However, there may be issues if specific information is kept separate as hard copies.
Disadvantages to Hybrid Record Keeping
The main disadvantage is that multiple outlets means multiple avenues for data breach. As a professional record keeping organization we would strongly recommend using our service as a primary access point.
The second disadvantage is that it requires more working hours to maintain and access the files. When there are multiple copies of anything, it requires more in the way of resources to maintain. This could put a burden on your employees and your wage bill.
The third disadvantage is in the legal regulation of such files. Organizations need to be aware of their legal obligations in their state or broader Federal requirements. There may be extra criterion against which HIPAA will be judged.
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