September 21, 2012 by Mitch Taube Categories: Document Management

While electronic medical/health record (EMR/EHR) software is effective in managing new patient data, these applications have not been designed to easily input and manage scanned images of existing paper patient records.  This presents significant risk and potentially high costs now and as your practice changes. And, as we know, change is the only constant in this universe.

Hidden Costs

Relying upon the document management capabilities within EMR software presents a high cost option now and if (read: when) you need to migrate to a new EMR. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Users need to purchase a module to store the scanned patient files
  2. It is difficult and time consuming to import scanned patient charts into an EMR system

Hidden Risks

Storing your business documents and scanned patient records in an EMR can also be risky. In some cases such as the result of a merger with another healthcare organization, migrating the documents out of the system and making them available in the new EMR system can be just as expensive as the new system. You may require customized coding to convert the images to a format that the new EMR system can manage. It may also be impossible to export the index data from the old system, requiring a very long and expensive process for converting the data.

The Right Prescription

Using document management software that integrates with your EMR system can save you time and money now and as your practice grows. Document management software is designed to easily scan and store both images and corresponding data, enabling you to quickly access your existing medical records. Document management software that integrates with multiple EMR solutions enables you to scan and store the documents once and just point your current or future EMR system to the existing document management platform. This means if and when you EMR system changes, your document management platform does not have to.

You’ve Got Options

Platforms we suggest include Digitech PaperVision Enterprise software and its cloud-based version, ImageSilo as well as FileBound Enterprise Software. Both of these electronic content management software suites enable you to easily scan, store and retrieve medical records in such a way as to be able to connect them to just about any EMR solution. If you change EMR systems, the documents will not need to be exported. For practices that wish to store documents in the cloud, you can scan, store and retrieve your documents regardless of your physical location.

This is the second post in a two-part series about electronic medical records. Read the first post.