Converting a paper filing system into an electronic record system requires several steps and impacts the workflow of the office. Here is a case in point.
I am working with a Hamilton medical office converting their paper patient charts to electronic format. The office holds about 250 lineal feet of charts with about 12 charts per foot. In total they have accumulated about 75,000 pages of records.
They use an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) software package to store their notes, correspondence, reports and other important documents. They scan EKG's and other image documents and store them as PDF records.
The design of the EMR software does not easily store large volumes of image files. This means that the records we create through scanning cannot be loaded up and matched directly to the EMR package. It would create performance problems according to the software developer.
To accomplish what the doctor has requested we will scan the files and upload them to an electronic filing cabinet in our docUcapture hosted record system. They will be indexed by patient name and chart number. Using a web link to the EMR software the medical office will be able to call the old patient charts electronically as needed without negatively impacting their EMR software.
Once the charts are converted, all new information will have to be loaded to the EMR to avoid loss of data. This means a systematic change for the office staff but the benefit will be easier, faster and more efficient access to patient charts. A side benefit is the reduction in floor space in the office permitting better use of rented premises.
Have you tried electronic filing? Have you considered how your workflow can change and will change?