Patient record storage is incredibly important for medical practices and healthcare organizations, even if you keep electronic records. If you do not protect patient privacy, you could be at risk for legal consequences. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you understand the importance of electronic medical record storage and keeping your patients’ sensitive information safe.
Why Choose Electronic Medical Records?
Physical paper records are often stored in file cabinets, filing walls, or at offsite storage facilities. Electronic medical records (EMR) are stored in an online database.
There are several benefits of electronic medical record storage. First, an EMR database will allow you and your staff to easily and efficiently find patient records. Whether you need to send records to a patient, a different practice or assisting facility, or review information with a patient, you will have everything you need with just a few simple steps.
Second, using an EMR solution can eliminate the need for off-site storage. Off-site storage can be expensive to maintain, especially if you have a large number of paper records. When you use EMR, you can easily keep all of your current and former patient information on-hand within your own practice.
Lastly, EMR can save your patients time. When you have a new patient, you can easily send them new patient paperwork electronically, rather than waiting for them to fill out all of their information when they arrive for their appointment.
How to Choose an Electronic Medical Record Storage Solution
EMR can be created by scanning a physical record and uploading it to the database, or creating a new record directly in the database. EMR can also be extracted and migrated from one database to another electronically. But no matter how you create an electronic record, there are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing which solution is best for you. For example:
How much storage space do you need? Each EMR software has a different storage capacity level, and often different prices for each level. If you have a plethora of medical records, you will need to be sure that the solution that you choose has the capability to safely store all of them, and that you can afford the level of storage that you need.
What kind of security does the software have? Patient privacy is a serious concern, and your EMR software needs to have barriers and conditions in place to protect it. We recommend choosing a software that has encrypted servers, authorization levels to ensure only the patients and their providers have access to their records, a security monitoring system to track who accesses patient records.
Do you need to scan and upload existing physical documents? Document scanning can take quite a bit of time. You need to prepare documents for scanning by removing staples and paper clips, repairing creases and tears. You also need to use high quality scanning equipment to ensure accuracy and quality of each record. We recommend working with an outside document scanning company who will have the time, equipment and knowledge that is needed to securely scan your records. While this may add an extra cost, it will save you time in the long run, especially if you have a large number of documents.
Do you have existing EMR that need to be migrated? If you have existing EMR that you need migrated to a new storage solution, you need to ensure that you are doing so securely. You may be able to utilize migration services from your new software, or work with a third-party EMR extraction company. In either case, you need to review the extraction and migration process with the company and get a complete understanding of their security measures. They should have encrypted servers and authorization processes to protect your patients’ information.
Electronic Medical Record Storage from Desert River Solutions
At Desert River Solutions, we know how important it is for providers to have quick access to medical records when they need them. We offer Document Scanning and Electronic Medical Record Extraction services to help you relieve the stress off EMR storage. Contact us today to get started and streamline your office processes.