The transition from paper to electronic records: Ep 20, HealthcareTalks

As you’re navigating from, uh, a paper based world to a more digital world, you always wonder where do you start. And some of the easiest place, uh, to start is to think about, uh, how you’re just going to take an analogue, a paper format and move it to a digital. That could mean scanning. It’s a very good — good way of, uh, of starting things out and saying, “Okay, I can’t just throw all my data away. What am I going to do with it?” And a lot of these things most — many hospital and IT departments know how to do in general. They just don’t have personnel and resources to do it, so it’s a great thing to look at and say, “Who can come out and just do this for me?”

You know, scan a bunch of stuff for me, and then tag it, uh, uh, organize it, store it, make it available for backup, make it available for archiving. And then what’ll happen is that now you’re — now nobody once you’re in this, uh, more digital format will rely on going to the records room. They’ll first rely on the computer, a keyboard and mouse, an iPad, a phone, et cetera, to get to their record. That’s your biggest burden. How do you make a person who has been using paper forever who’s going to naturally walk to the records room not naturally walk to the records room? And this is one of the great ways is take what they’re already familiar with, the paper, make it digital, and have them naturally go to the computer in a nice file oriented way so they can get access to it.

Then naturally comes meaningful use, electronic health records, uh, the revenue cycle — uh, revenue, uh, cycle management systems, financial services integration. Once it’s digital, you can move it in and out in any way, shape that you want through automated systems. Scripts can be set up, et cetera. So it’s really important to consider how long do you stay on paper because if you leave the paper out there, you’re going to have a slower move to digital. So if you can get off of paper, into digital first with whatever format you use, that’s always the best place to start.

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