Advantages of Going Paperless in Patient Record Keeping

The traditional paper charting system used by numerous health care facilities is costly and time-consuming – it’s yesterday’s news.

The American Recovery Act of 2009 will require all medical offices to have electronic health records by 2014. What are the benefits of electronic medical records?

“The average dental practice spends upwards of $15,800 on the creation and storage of patients charts each year and spends at least $11,520 annually on 576 hours of labor required to maintain paper records.” Source – Dr. Larry Emmott. Paper vs. Digital: What’s it Worth to You? Dental Products Report, 01-JUL-2006.

“One-quarter of all medical spending goes ito administrative and overhead costs, and reliance on antiquated paper-based record and information systems needlessly increases these costs/”
Source – Steffie Woolhandler, Terry Campbell, and David U. Himmelstein (2003) “Costs of Health Care Administration in the United StatesandCanada.” New England Journal of Medicine.

EMR will cut down on clerical time and paying staff to retrieve and organize paper charts [25-75 per day]. More patients can be seen in a day without lost chair time due to lost or misplaced records and documents.

EMR will prevent the loss or duplication of medical records. Look what happed after Katrina in New Orleans – there was widespread loss all of medical records. Had they been in electronic format, they could have been backed up off site, or the doc could have taken the hard drive when they evacuated. What if there is a fire and the paper records are destroyed?

Less space is necessary to archive information in a hard drive than in file cabinets, and it is environmentally sound by eliminating paper and saving trees.

Almost every electronic records software manufacturer says that your office will be paperless and meet the requirements that the government is insisting upon to lower heath care costs and minimize mistakes. However, they suggest that in order to become paperless, the practice must retype all the information provided by the patient on handwritten forms into the EMR or scan all the information. Isn’t there something missing here?

Call us at 888-427-1116 [est] to see how we can help you become truly paperless or to see a demonstration.


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