April 23, 2021
With the digital transformation most businesses are stepping into, it might be time for you to do the change as well. Most health and dental administrative are still skeptical about making the big switch. However, there’s federal funding available to make shifting to digital files less of a hassle.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act's recent mandate requires healthcare providers looking for funding to show evidence of electronic medical records (EMR) conversion.
Switching To Digital Filing
Having your important files and records digitized is a step towards advancement since you'll experience less hassle and more efficiency. This change is beneficial not only for you but also for your patients. There are other advantages why you should opt for a digital file storing system.
Here are some of them:
When you digitize medical files, you’ll probably spend some money in the beginning, and clinics may not afford it right away. However, it's a good investment to digitize medical files as you're sure to get the returns. Indeed, you'll not get your money's worth immediately, but the cost you're saving will compound over time.
Plus, if you switch to digital documents, you won’t need many people to handle your paperwork. You can save costs by hiring fewer employees, and you can even opt for a smaller clinic if you want. Without too much paper taking up valuable space, you can maximize a small space to fit everything you need.
Another great benefit is you won’t have to worry as much when it comes to security. Medical and dental records are confidential documents since it contains a lot of personal information about the patient. Thus, carrying physical medical records is a great risk for you, so you have to be thorough when it comes to security. You'll have to get surveillance cameras or even security guards too.
But with digitalized medical and dental records, you can save money on these costs, and you won’t need to worry about safety as much.
Security for your digital records would be of premium quality because most digitalized record service providers offer great encryption.
Unlike its paper alternative, digitized files won’t be as vulnerable and they won’t be easily exposed. If your encryption is strong, the digital records won’t be available for transcription or duplication. Paper records, on the other hand, are easily susceptible to scanning or faxing. Any third party who wants access to your patient's medical or dental records can quickly get it.
However, if you choose to digitalize your records, you'll be protecting your patient's records from anyone who wants to take it.
Also, paper records could easily be exposed to risks like fire, flood, and human interventions. Thus, records may get lost if not digitized.
As a medical organization, it’s your responsibility to follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines, including other regulations to ensure patient privacy. Having digitized records bolsters non-disclosure more than paper management systems can.
Although encrypted, you can allow authorized personnel to access such records easily. Electronic records make it more accessible to people working in the clinic as your employees no longer have to scour a long list of patients' records while trying to find one name. This means you’ll take less time when you need to admit a patient.
More people require immediate healthcare in society, but sometimes, a decline in healthcare accessibility is more prevalent. Moreover, patients could take a maximum of 24 hours to book an initial appointment with a healthcare provider.
However, you can minimize this significantly if you make the switch to digital records. Your healthcare professionals can easily book a medical and dental appointment just by looking at the patient’s records. And because of digitalization, healthcare professionals can quickly check medical history for follow-up checkups, boosting their productivity.
Medical and dental files tell significant information about your patients as it states every medication, diagnosis, symptoms, and illness your patients had. It even shows a glimpse of your patients' future life, that’s why it's essential to shift to digitized records.
Moreover, treatment effectiveness is highly dependent on the patients' medical history and its accuracy. Despite that, many people are still unaware of the benefits of having proper access to medical records.
The issue rests on the fact many are still reliant on paper documents to house medical records. However, it's now time to enter the digital shift of medical records and fully utilize the value of electronic medical records.