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19 Jun 2012
Reliable Scanning Services Are The Key To Medical Records Going Digital
Posted by Javier Rios
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What is HIPAA ?

HIPAA Stands for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and it was created to protect patient's information and make the health system more efficient. The privacy rule standards address the use and disclosure of individual's health information. All individuals, businesses and their employees that have access to ePHI or PHI must learn the standards of this HIPAA rule."

While the private sector has fully adopted digital data, much of the medical industry still relies on paper-based data filing systems. But as more and more systems are implemented to digitize medical records, scanning services will be key to successful implementation.

 With the advent of cloud computing and the ability to integrate data systems, it would seem that the age of paper documents and filing is now officially a thing of the past. Not so, however, when it comes to the medical industry: while the private sector has adopted digital data sharing standards, recognizing the cost savings and increase in productivity, the medial industry remains mired in outmoded paper documents and filing that is not only inefficient, but also puts patients’ health at risk, with digital medical records remaining inaccessible to doctors when they need them most.

A recent study from Anoto reveals that: “More than 75% of respondents predict paperwork either to increase or not improve with healthcare reform; despite implementation of electronic health records, 80% of healthcare organizations still rely on paper records.” The result of this is that healthcare reform will continue to incur costs from inefficiencies in how data is stored and shared.

Considering that measures have been taken to implement electronic health records, why is it that we are seeing a rise in the medical paper trail?

One primary contributing factor is the hefty backload of paper-based medical records that hospitals, insurance companies, and doctors’ offices already have on hand. In many cases, these organizations have already spent a great deal of resources to file and store their paper records, and simply do not have the scanning services or equipment available to them in order to tackle the project of scanning all of their paper documents into .pdf or other digital formats.

Companies like Fujitsu are now designing scanners that are specifically designed to facilitate the scanning of medical records. However, it is not the equipment that is lacking, but rather the human resources and expertise to make the migration from paper to digital actually happen.

This is where we are going to see companies that specialize in scanning services come into vogue in the medical industry over the next decade or so.

Rather than investing (once again) in a medical records filing and retrieval system that incorporates scanning to .pdf or other document scanning services, the most cost-effective approach for the medical industry to streamline the process will be simply to outsource scanning services to companies that are staffed and equipped to scan large quantities of medical records. Considering that the average doctor’s office keeps medical records fresh for 5 to 7 years, the volume of work is simply too much to handle for the average administrative worker.

For companies that specialize in scanning services, there is more to the process than simply mass scanning documents: considering that medical organizations are using software solutions that can read .pdf files and translate them into editable documents that can be added into databases, the scanning process for medical records are particularly critical, as an error in the data can mean life or death for the patient.

There’s no doubt that we will continue to see scanning services become the primary method of facilitate the paper-to-digital transfer of medical records. The big question remains: will the technology and expertise allow for a smooth, efficient transfer that is more a benefit than a hazard?

Thanks for reading our article! Did you know that Access Scanning offers leading scanning services in Southern California? Take a look at what we have to offer!

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