Converting to electronic records: How to alleviate risks and practice compliance

As organizations begin the transition from paper documents to electronic records, there are a number of actions they must take to ensure a smooth transition and proper records storage, as well as to mitigate the risks of lost information.

While the shift from traditional records to a digital format is certainly one that will provide a number of benefits, it must be done correctly. Any misfires during this process could result in costly consequences such as lost data or penalties for regulatory non-compliance.

According to an article in the Mail Tribune, Providence Medford Medical Center – a hospital in southern Oregon – is going through the process of converting its records. They are doing this to build efficiency into a number of operations such as prescription filling and patient check-in. It will also reduce the risk of misread information, as many doctors notes are quickly scribbled down and may be illegible.

Jason Kuhl, a family physician and the head of Medford family Practice, told the news source that converting to electronic medical records will provide strong benefits for patients.

“This will streamline a patient’s navigation through the entire system,” Kuhl said.

But while these efforts will certainly serve as an advantage to the hospital, its staff and patients, the organization must ensure that it is converting records with the utmost level of care. Retention of paper records may be required after conversion so healthcare organizations will have to find a place to put these documents.

Working with a medical records management firm will help all hospitals ensure that their conversion processes are done correctly and efficiently while mitigating any potential risks. Whether records must be destroyed properly or stored in a secure location, these professionals can help organizations find the best solutions to fit their needs.

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