6 indicators that you need to digitise your paper-based patient files

6 indicators that you need to digitise your paper-based patient files

Are you still using paper-based patient files? The idea of going paperless (or paper-light) may be daunting if you have an established practice with years’ worth of paper-based patient files. However, sometimes digitising patient files becomes critical to ensuring your practice continues to thrive.

EMR/EHR stands for Electronic medical record / Electronic Health Record & is the systematised collection of patient health information & a digital equivalent of paper records. If you are still debating whether to take the plunge, here are 6 problematic areas that your practice may be currently experiencing that EMRs/EHRs can solve for. 

1. You have too many paper files & you’re running out of physical space

EMRs/EHRs store your patient files securely in the cloud. This means that you don’t need to keep rows of filing cabinets & the space to accommodate them. 

2. You have no backup plan for patient data in the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster

EMRs/EHRs store your data safely & securely in the cloud giving you access to your data from any device, even after a natural (or manmade) disaster. 

3. Your practice admin is time-consuming & prone to error 

A good EMR/EHR will integrate with your medical billing software. This streamlines invoicing & claims processes, automates routine practice’s admin & reduces the need to capture duplicate data (thereby reducing human error).

4. You are not always office-based 

Cloud-based EMRs/EHRs enable you to safely access data on the go. Whether you need a patient file in the middle of the night or want to check on your practice data while you’re on holiday – it’s safe & secure to access via a reputable EMR/EHR.  

5. Your speciality is at greater risk of malpractice lawsuits

Every medical professional has some risk of malpractice claims but some specialities, such as gynaecology, is where proper documentation can provide evidence in your defence. EMRs/EHRs enable better accountability & accuracy because each entry log is consistent with a specific individual timestamp. This makes it possible to keep track of who is diagnosing patients & recommending treatment plans. 

6. You don’t have time to compile patient charts

EMRs/EHRs enable you to treat at the top of your license by trending important patient data for you. 

As you can see, EMRs/EHRs are far more secure than paper-based records as they’re not at risk during a catastrophic event (flood, theft, fire, etc). It’s also easier to retain accountability in EMRs/EHRs — each entry log is consistent with a specific individual & time. This factor makes it easier to keep track of who is diagnosing patients & recommending medical outcomes.

Lastly, EMRs/EHRs provide a customised format that helps with things like legibility & accuracy of medical data. Paper-based records can involve human error & a loss of data integrity.

For more information about how an EMR/EHR can help you build your best practice, click here for a no-obligation practice health assessment. 

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