The Benefits of Keeping Electronic Medical Records Over Hard Copies
We have seen some profound changes to how we administer and record various healthcare transactions – legal compliance, treatment, medication and insurance. For most in the industry, there has been little change beyond legal compliance and others still prefer to maintain paper records to avoid what they feel are complications of HIPAA. Why should you switch to electronic medical record keeping and outsource to Record Grabber?
Long-term administrative costs of electronic record keeping are much lower. Certainly, you need an IT infrastructure and security protocols, but once implemented, they are very cost effective. An increased volume of paper records is expensive in terms of actual cost, human resources for managing and monitoring and disposal. There is no such cost with electronic medical records.
How long you can or should keep records varies from state to state, so storage space is an ongoing issue. Some of the largest healthcare organizations have large warehouses full of documents going back many years, unable to destroy them until the allotted time. Electronic records take up far less physical space than a warehouse as even the largest servers have a smaller footprint.
While electronic records are subject to hacks and other electronic security problems, they will not suffer other forms of security breach that affect paper records. With Cloud Storage, natural disasters will not destroy original electronic medical records as they will be backed up in cyberspace. Electronic medical records are generally secure and cannot be lost, dropped or misplaced in the same way that original paper records may.
Digital records may be shared by many people at once and when shareable in a suitable format, multiple people may also amend a digital file at once. This is not true of original paper copies. Do you remember going to the school library and finding that they had only three copies of a core textbook and all were booked out? Electronic filing does not suffer from such access limitation.
Physicians are notorious for having illegible handwriting and using jargon and abbreviations that may make little sense to the nonprofessional or the administrator. When data is entered as printed text, there are fewer chances for others to make an error in reading instructions. When data is entered wrong on an electronic system, the software will normally flag up the problem and ask the user to make corrections.
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