Paper Charts are Taking Over My Practice!


Solutions and Suggestions

Many of our customers installing a new Medisoft Clinical EMR are making the transition from paper charts to digital charts. Iron Comet has a few suggestions as to the best way to achieve this challenge and how to work with the paper charts that have collected over many years in practice.

Three approaches:

Scan all of the paper charts and upload them to the EMR This approach takes time and should be regimented with input from the providers. If the practice is very large and has thousands of charts it might be a good idea to outsource this duty to a third party that specializes in this area. An issue to consider is that doing so can add extra expense to already thin budgets. The good thing is that after this process is finished the staff never again has to reference a paper chart. The paper charts can be transferred to storage and create some extra breathing room in the office. The downside is that the provider may have to wade through hundreds of pages of scanned data to find the records that reflect the milestone events and that best summarize the patient’s medical history.

Don’t scan anything and carry the paper chart into the exam room Some physicians have a fear of change and have trouble making the commitment to EMRs in the early stages of adoption. No scanning is required for this method but obviously the EMR will never contain the complete story regarding the patient’s history. The provider is committed to two systems over an indefinite period of time and cannot realize the money saved by reducing chart pulls. As the patient comes in for other visits, the lost time and savings to the office become apparent. With Mckesson’s Medisoft Clinical EMR, doctors can securely view patient records anywhere they choose whether it be on an iPad, Smartphone, or home office. No paper chart is necessary for the mobile healthcare professional.

Scan information that you need
Our best suggestion and most popular approach is that you don’t need to see “everything” that happened in the past. One does not need to scan every piece of paper in the chart. Your staff can transfer enough data to competently care for the patient and no more. Most practices have concluded that scanning approximately 10% of the paper chart will give them the most important information they need to provide excellent care. Certainly some patients might need more depending on their condition. A system set up the day before a patient arrives is the key to success. The provider can mark what records require scanning or your staff can create a formula for every chart. Working together the entire staff can streamline the process by sorting particular parts of the chart so everyone will know where to find the information. Many practices employ a system to scan chart data before the patient arrives so that the next time the patient has an appointment, no paper chart is necessary.

Since Insurance companies often ask for data going back as far as 5 years, it would be appropriate to scan all progress notes, sorted by year, for that time frame and any relevant notes from specialists or other referral doctors.
Iron Comet Consulting is a Platinum certified Mckesson reseller based in Stockbridge, Georgia.  We are a full service medical IT and billing company.
Phone – (770) 506-4383
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