an insider's look at digitizing medical records for physicians

Why Should I Be Scanning My Medical Records?

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In his course materials for Assessing Scanning and Capture Requirements, instructor Bob Larivee outlines the results of a survey taken with respect to the biggest motivators to undertake a scanning / conversion regimen.  Virtually tied for first place are the reasons of: Improve Searchability, Records Security and Improvement in Processes.
Closely following are the reasons of Improving Speed of Access to Information and Reducing the Physical Footprint for the records.Why Bother Scanning?Interestingly, it is the reason of Reducing the Physical Storage Space (aka “running out of space”) that we hear most when we’re dealing with Canadian physicians who wish to have their medical backfile scanned, often in conjunction with the move to EMR.  It is only once we show them the power of the information they have that they really start to key into the benefits.

Most doctors, when asked if they will review the historical trends of a patient’s bloodwork or anything else in the medical records, simply respond that they look back usually when they need to respond to a request for specific information, if they’re looking for the last
ECG, date of surgery and that sort of thing.  Rarely do they want to track any trending in bloodwork over historical periods of time.  While I’m not a physician, I suspect this is because it’s just not easy to do.  I understand. When we show them what you can do with a searchable scan of a patient record, I always enjoy seeing the reaction.  Usually it involves the widening of the eyes or a slight drop in the jaw.  We show them how by searching for the term “WBC” (while blood count), Adobe Reader will not only take you to every reference to the term in the entire document, it will also display a little abstract on the side for each search result.  I just so happens that the abstract will always show the value for the WBC taken directly from each of the labs that are present in the record.  Now you’ve got the historical trend.

At RSRS, we ensure that you scan what needs to be scanned and we show you how to harness the information to which you now have instantaneous access. Call us at 1-888-563-3732 or visit us at

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