Records Management Blog | Practical Records Management

Medical Document Scanning will Turn You Green

Posted by Michael Thomas on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 @ 07:16 AM

Medical document scanning is an efficient method to manage your medical records,  as well as a benefit to the environment as well as the economy.   By scanning medical records,  the amount of paper and trees that could be saved is astounding.  When you consider that the average patient medical file contains about 75 Pages, and multiply it by the total number of patients in the United States, which is upwards of  307 Million, there are more than 23 Billion Pages of Medical Information scattered across today’s hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. This number multiplies exponentially when you start to consider that most people have separate charts at their Dentist, Podiatrist, and other specialists that they may visit.

When it comes to the mountains of paper that is used every year to print medical records and the cost of space to store these records, as well as the liability of unauthorized access to medical information a medical document scanning solution becomes very attractive. By Scanning Medical Records, not only is there a positive impact on the environment, but there are even more significant economic benefits that come along with the Nationwide push towards Electronic Medical Records.


Recently,  grants that have been established to encourage states, doctors and hospitals to enter the age of computerized record keeping. 

Medical transactions require a minimum of one sheet of paper per medical record claim submission, another sheet for claim payment and another sheet for claim remittance.  Usually the file contains much more than the minimum, including updated insurance information and insurance authorization, signed copies of HIPAA consent,   studies or test results related to the patient, as well as the doctor’s notes and observations. 

According to the U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index, paper medical records are “costly, inefficient and prone to errors.”   An independent actuarial study performed by Milliman Inc. considered six key transactions:

•   Claims Submission

•   Eligibility Verification

•   Referral Certification

•   Preauthorization for Care

•   Claim Status

•   Payment posting

According to their analysis scanning medical records and medical document scanning could reduce annual insurance administration costs by more than $42,000 per physician.  And so, While it may not literally turn YOU green, starting the process of scanning medical records in your practice , clinic, or hospital can help improve not only the environment, but also the efficiency and economics of the practice.

Tags: Records Management, Document Scanning, Medical Record Scanning, Healthcare