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

How are you protecting your Business Records?

Posted by Tom Doyle on Thu, Mar 04, 2010 @ 02:59 PM

It's 2010!!How important is your iphone, PDA, Laptop and cell phone to your ability to get your daily business done?  With each instant message, email, processed order and invoice, the importance of managing, archiving, storing and securing business information grows. The theory of the paperless office, while relatively attainable, is not practical or realistic. You receive a contract via email. It requires safekeeping and security. What do you and the six other people cc'd on the email do? Print it! Fast forward a year or five or ten. How many types of documents, paper or electronic have you created? Well, you don't have to be a public company or a 100 attorney law firm to have a real problem.  What to do and how to manage the lifecycle of your business information.

Today, depending on the industry you are in and who governs that industry, you are responsible, in fact liable and at risk if you don't protect that information or be able to produce it at a moment's notice. And, according to a recent survey by Cohasset Associates in conjunction with ARMA - The Association of Records Management Advisors, "while many organizations are moving in the right direction, research clearly indicates that for an alarming number, the efficient and systematic control over business records is still not getting done."

Why? Because it's an afterthought. Like insurance in many instances, people should have it and they know it, but they wait until it's too late or have a catastrophic event to realize it.

It doesn't have to and shouldn't come to that. Instead of boxing up your documents and putting them in a garage or a self-storage shed, or worse, your hallways, conference rooms and closets, exposed to all kinds of danger, both environmental and human, consider this - secure, climate controlled, off-site Record Storage.  For as little as .25 cents per box per month, your mind can rest easy knowing that your corporate business history is secure and retrievable at a moment's notice.

 In addition, many service providers offer additional value added services, such as scan on demand, whereby requests for documents are made by secure web portal, requested files are retrieved, scanned and securely sent to the requestor for a fraction of the cost of moving the file manually. Law firms, Health Care providers, Insurance companies, virtually any industry is a prime candidate for this undervalued, necessary function.

As a certified Record Storage partner who combines off-site document storage with Enterprise Document Management and Outsourced Scanning services, Shoreline Records Management also provides Records Management consulting services to create policies and procedures that manage the creation, lifecycle and destruction of your corporate information.

Today, every industry is regulated, and as a result of that regulation, audit control and compliance surrounding business transactions warrant the expertise of a professional Records Management company. Don't continue to waste time and money while exposing a serious risk to your business.   

Tags: File Storage, Records Management, Healthcare

Scanning for EMR and EHR - About Paper Chart Scanning

Posted by Michael Thomas on Tue, Mar 02, 2010 @ 02:04 PM
A lot is made about the advent of the Electronic Medical Record, and with good reason. The technology that allows medical practitioners to access real-time information and patient history with the click of a mouse has already proven itself and undoubtedly helped to save lives. Now, with the federal government providing incentives that will allow more and more medical practices to take advantage of these technologies, the number of practices and facilities using these systems (EMR, EHR, etc.) is multiplying rapidly.

There's an important component of these systems that is being overlooked, however, electronic medical recordsand that's the legacy Patient information that has historically been stored in paper charts. As the number of implementations of EMR Systems skyrockets, Medical Practices across the country are looking at hundreds, if not thousands, of paper-based charts and asking themselves the same question - "What do I do with all of this?"

The reality of the situation is that it takes an inordinate amount of time to sit down in front of a screen and perform manual data entry from paper-based charts, and that chart scanning is a more efficient way to deliver content to these systems. Most, if not all, of the leading EHR and EMR platforms have some really great utilities to allow practices to retrieve and view images, and by scanning legacy patient history into these systems, Practices, Hospitals, and Clinics can start to truly take advantage of all of the benefits these systems have to offer.

But where do you start? For most practices, the logical course of action is to procure a scanner. There are many great models to choose from, and the choices may seem dizzying to some. Do I need a scanner with an ADF? Does it need to be Duplex? Should it have the good old Bilinear-Interpolation Feature? It sometimes can seem like it's easier to build a lunar module than to scan Patient Charts into your shiny new EMR or EHR System. And then, once you've gone ahead and purchased the scanner, you're faced with the reality that someone will need to pull all of the staples, sort the pages, and then sit in front of a computer and scan all of these charts and tag them with patient data.

If this process seems like more work than you're willing to take on, take comfort in knowing that there is another option to fill your EMR or EHR System with all of your paper charts. There are professional companies that specialize in outsourced scanning of medical charts, and many of these companies will make this process a breeze. For a low, per-page price, you can send your patient charts out to a Document Conversion service center that will perform all of the document preparation, scanning and indexing, and will also help to upload all of your scanned data into your EMR or EHR System.

When choosing to outsource the process to a document conversion service provider, and especially with Medical Records such as Patient Charts, it's critical to work with a company that has experience, however. You should ask to speak with references of other practices that the company has worked with, and also obtain a HIPAA Business Associates agreement to have peace of mind that you're information is being kept confidential. Once you've found the right partner though, you should be able to be up and running in a few short weeks with all of your patient history and paper chart information loaded into the Electronic Medical Record System, available when and where you need it.

Tags: Document Scanning, Medical Record Scanning, Healthcare