Medical Document Scanning Services To Convert To Electronic
by Loris F. Anders
The transition from paper to electronic medical records is mandated by law. HITECH is the acronym for the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, which was signed into Federal law in 2009. It has been the bane of existence for many health care providers. The change from paper to electronic records has turned out to be a lot more complicated than legislators anticipated. Medical document scanning services are needed to accomplish this mountainous task.
Doctors, hospitals and clinics literally have rooms of paper records that need to be scanned and converted into electronic records. Careful planning and structure are needed for the process. Otherwise health care providers can end up with electronic garbage rather than electronic medical records.
Paper documents must be arranged systematically to be compatible with the electronic medical records software in current use by the health care facility. Protocols for how to name the electronic files and where to save them for later retrieval must be established. These steps are critical to having retrievable medical records.
Health care providers absolutely need a qualified, trusted and secure document scanning service. There are years worth of paper files with paper clips, post its and staples that have to be removed before the documents are scanned. There can also be X rays that need to be converted into electronic images, which requires a special type of scanner.
To be HIPAA compliant, health care providers and scanning companies need to be prepared to provide proof of the chain of custody for all the records they handle. HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Neither the name nor the acronym give a clue as to the meaning and objectives of HIPAA. The Act was intended to safeguard the privacy of protected health information, also known as PHI.
After the documents have been scanned, there is still a mountain of paper to handle. Some facilities opt for storing the paper documents, which will be an ongoing expense. The other option is to securely shred the paper. Secure shredding is another service these companies provide. There is a long list of tasks associated with converting the paper documents to electronic files. There is nothing simple about this process.
Services to scan documents are necessary. The physician or hospital should not attempt to hire temporary workers and purchase their own equipment. Services have the skill set for thorough and secure execution of this mandate. Doctors and hospitals do not possess this required skills or equipment.
Loris F. Anders is an office management specialist focused on optimizing workflow processes in document management. If you would like to learn more about <a href="http://www.docufree.com/industries/industry-healthcare/">Automated EMR document scanning services</a> he recommends you check out <a href="http://www.docufree.com/">www.docufree.com</a>.
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