Scan My Medical Records

an insider's look at digitizing medical records for physicians

The “Tipping Point” in Paperless Medical Records

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Like much of the world, the medical community is going electronic, harnessing the computer’s digital power to create a lightning-quick, convenient workflow.

Want proof? Look south of the border, where, traditionally, trends begin and, eventually, migrate north, to Canada.

Recently, Kaiser Health News reported that smartphones might hold the key to patients’ medical records. Turns out there’s a computer program called Medicare Blue Button, which allows patients to download their medical history into a simple-text file on their personal
computers and smartphones. It’s then an easy matter of organizing that information via downloadable third-party apps.

The article cited an instance, at a family gathering last Thanksgiving, where the father of a
Maryland doctor was experiencing acute eye pain following cataract surgery. Since the doctor had signed up his father for Blue Button, when the two visited a local doctor to investigate the eye pain, his dad handed the physician his iPhone displaying his medical history — doctors’ names, phone numbers and addresses, as well as medications, imaging studies, lab tests and diagnoses.

Pretty amazing!

Want more proof? It was recently reported that more than half of all U.S. doctors and 80 per cent of hospitals have switched over to electronic medical records (EMR). In fact,
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services even went so far as to call it
a “tipping point” for EMR technology.

Tipping point, indeed! There’s no denying it. It’s fast becoming a digital world, and any doctor not jumping on the bandwagon will be putting themselves, and their patients, at a disadvantage.

And for those making the move or who have already made the move to EMR, there is still the issue of your backfile paper and scanning.  RSRS is a Canadian leader in document scanning. The professionals at RSRS convert paper documents of any shape or size into instantly retrievable files stored on your computer server.

We can handle your conversion needs, large and small, from pulling staples and preparing your documents, to indexing them and building your archive.  They can come to you embedded in your EMR or as standalone searchable PDF files.

Learn more by giving us a call at 1-888-563-3732  Ext. 220, or visit our website.

Is Your Medical Practice “Green”?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most doctors, you’re looking for ways to run your practice more efficiently and in a more environmentally friendly way.

With that in mind, here’s a savvy way to kill two birds with one stone and make your
medical practice more “green” — and save money in the process: scan your medical records.

By converting your paper records to digital format, you’ll eliminate reams of unwieldy paper — and save acres and acres of trees (the rainforest thanks you!).

Instantly, you’ll eliminate  the cost of all that unwieldy, space-hogging paper and do away with associated costs (things like printer and photocopier toner and photocopier maintenance).

Not only do paper-based records occupy space, but they’re much less eco-friendly than EMR, which can be handily stored on computer disks, servers or hard drives that, in fact, need far fewer resources to manufacture.

And the energy saved by creating even a single digital record is a real eye-opener.

Whether converting to PDF records or to a full-fledged EMR, you are definitely making a move into the new healthcare delivery system.  Increasingly sophisticated EMR systems can, over time, provide paperless services such as electronic billing; digital record-keeping; online patient registration; online data gathering and electronic entry by doctors. Eventually, you could say “au revoir” to hand-written prescriptions and applications, and wave good-bye to the costs of printing registration, encounter and history forms.

More trees saved, another thank-you card from Mother Earth.

RSRS is a Canadian leader in document scanning. Our document bureau is outfitted with best-of-breed technologies, to ensure the highest-quality scanned and indexed images, fully verified and delivered back to you promptly.

We work closely with you to understand your paperless goals, and make recommendations based on our experience with clients  in virtually every business and professional sector. Our staff is fully qualified for their specific duties and have all signed appropriate Non Disclosure Agreement forms, to ensure full data protection and confidentiality of our client materials.

Call us at 1-888-563-3732 or visit our website.

Medical Record Retention Rules Change for BC Doctors

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret that, beginning June 1,2013, physicians in British Columbia will have to start keeping all patient medical records for a period of 16 years from the date of last visit orfrom the age of majority, whichever is later. This is more than double the former retention period of 7 years.  (Think upto 34 years for pediatric records…. Yikes!)

On the face of it, the new rules suggest that BC doctors will  incur higher costs to retain and store their patients’ medical records.

And they will, if they stay with paper-based records. Which is why there has never been a better time to convert paper records to digital images and move away from onerous paper retention.

On a go-forward basis, you should already be seriously involved in, or thinking about electronic medical records (EMR), unless retirement is in the imminent future plans.  Your paper records (pertaining to active patients and children) can be professionally converted to searchable PDF files – easy to store, easy to search and easy to retain.

By eliminating that mountain of paper records, you’ll free up tons of extra space in your office, potentially allowing you to add an extra examination room(s) for more practice revenue, or move to smaller premises for a reduction in rent.

On top of that, you’ll dramatically reduce paper costs and the admin costs required to file and retrieve paper records.

Better still, from an efficiency standpoint, digital records are a breeze to manage. Imagine being able to search a patient’s records at the click of a mouse! By contrast, rummaging through paper records is about as cumbersome as trying to push a cat through a garden hose.

Digital files don’t degrade (no more wrinkling, ripping or coffee stains); eliminate the risk of misfiling; and are much more secure than paper records.

A Canadian leader in medical record scanning, RSRS can convert  paper records into instantly retrievable files stored on your computer server or securely hosted by RSRS.

Whether you practice in BC or anywhere else in Canada, we can handle your conversion needs, large and small. We can also show you exactly what should, and what should not be scanned. Call us at 1-888-563-3732 for more information, or visit our website.

 

Why PDF is best for Medical Record Scanning?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

OCR Recognition in PDF

OCR Recognition in PDF

 

RSRS has been performing backfile scanning (existing active paper medical records) for years.  Today, it is often performed in conjunction or in parallel with when a physician or clinic is moving to an EMR system.  There is the realization that the paper file is still important for ongoing care and the question is whether or not to convert the paper record to electronic and where to put it.

We generally advocate that the active paper (pertaining to current patients – or patients last seen within the last couple of years) should be scanned but should not be uploaded into the EMR.  It’s not necessary to keep there and may even slow down backup and access.  Generally speaking, it’s much quicker to access if you place it on your server or computer to be viewed alongside your EMR.

When called in to perform backfile scanning for our physician clients, and we make our recommendations to SCAN TO SEARCHABLE PDF, as we do in over 90% of the cases, we’re often asked:  WHY PDF?

The reasons are simple, and we’ve put the top 10 reasons here for your reference:

  1. Viewable with a free download (Adobe Reader).
  2. Compatible with both PC or MAC
  3. Totally searchable (patient name, symptom, phrase, keyword string, etc.) with OCR
  4. The search results window even let you do a quick comparison analysis for bloodwork searches.
  5. Searched keywords allow for quick comparison and trend-spotting.
  6. Offers security to prevent deletion, alteration, etc.
  7. Can be marked up without comprising the integrity of the original scan
  8. Can be run side-by-side with any EMR application
  9. Can be used as an alternative to EMR for simple document management, allowing you to append pages to any PDF patient file.
  10. Turns your mounds of paper into meaningful information that can be called up within seconds.

Conversion of paper files is a large, time-consuming task requiring specialized skills and impeccable organization.  At RSRS, we have developed a comprehensive medical record scanning solution to get you on your way to a paperless practice.  RSRS now offers OCR at no additional cost, as well as  a choice to receive your scanned documents burned to a CD/DVD or embedded in our search and retrieval application (if you’re not using an EMR.)  We can also integrate your scanned back-file directly into any EMR system, and scan your important paper still streaming though your practice on a daily basis.

Call us at 1-888-563-3732 for a complimentary demo of the benefits of an OCR-searchable medical record on your own computer and from the comfort of your own office!

 

Why Should I Be Scanning My Medical Records?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

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 www.recordsolutions.ca.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Funny Medical Excerpts, Part Deux

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Trust me,  I'm a Doctor!

Trust me, I'm a Doctor!

 

Now that the laughter has subsided after our first installment of Doctor Humour, we now
offer you “Part Deux” as promised. Enjoy!  We skimmed through borrowed copies of Gray’s Anatomy and the Physicians’ Desk Reference to bring you these classic Doctor comments on patient charts.

Of course, none of the excerpts below come from any of the hundreds of thousands
of records managed by RSRS.  At no time, does RSRS review the content of the medical records stored or scanned for our physician, clinic and hospital clients.

This installment provided by Doctor’s Lounge – http://www.doctorslounge.com/humour/bloopers.htm

  • “The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.”
  • “The baby was delivered, the cord clamped and cut, and handed to the pediatrician, who  breathed and cried immediately.”
  • “Exam of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.”
  • “She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life until 1989 when she got a divorce.”
  • “The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.”
  • “Rectal exam revealed a normal size thyroid.” (Long fingers?)
  • “Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.”
  • “A midsystolic ejaculation murmur heard over the mitral area.”
  • “The patient lives at home with his mother, father, and pet turtle, who is presently enrolled in day care three times a week.”
  • “Exam of genitalia was completely negative except for the right foot. “
  • “Examination reveals a well-developed male lying in bed with his family in no distress. “
  • “She can’t get pregnant with her husband, so I will work her up. “
  • “Whilst in Casualty she was examined, X-rated and sent home.”
  • “On the second day the knee was better and on the third day it had completely disappeared.”
  • “The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1983.”
  • “I will be happy to go into her GI system, she seems ready and anxious.”
  • “I have suggested that he loosen his pants before standing, and then, when he
    stands with the help of his wife, they should fall to the floor.”
  • “Patient was becoming more demented with urinary frequency.”
  • “The patient experienced sudden onset of severe shortness of breath with a
    picture of acute pulmonary oedema at home while having sex which gradually
    deteriorated in the emergency room.”
  • “The patient is a 79-year-old widow who no longer lives with her husband.”
  • “Many years ago the patient had frostbite of the right shoe.”
  • “The bugs that grew out of her urine were cultured in the Casualty and are not
    available. I WILL FIND THEM!!!”
  • “The patient left the hospital feeling much better except for her original
    complaints.”

At RSRS,  we believe that there is no more powerful tool for improving morale (with the possible exception of doubling one’s salary) than making work enjoyable.  While we may not be able to make your office “fun,” we can reduce the stress of many of your business and scanning challenges.  Please call us at 1-888-563-3732  or visit our website.

 

 

 

Funny Medical Record Excerpts (Part #1)

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

Doctor Humour,  Patients,  Medical Practice

Doctor Humour is Infectious, Contagious, and Good Medicine!

Laughter is the best medicine.  Humour is infectious. The sound of laughter is more contagious than any cough or sneeze. Laughter can trigger healthy physical changes in the body and has the capacity to boost your energy, diminish pain, and relieve stress.

We offer the following bloopers which presumably come from actual patient records.

Note:  None of the excerpts below come from any of the hundreds of thousands of records managed by RSRS.  At no time, does RSRS review the content of the medical records that it securely stores or scans for our physician and hospital clients.  These excerpts are
courtesy of:

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2hqZjb/www.rinkworks.com/said/patients.shtml

Enjoy!…  Feel free to share.  Laughing with someone else is better than
laughing alone!

  • “Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.”
  • “On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely.”
  • “The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993.”
  • “Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.”
  • “The patient refused an autopsy.”
  • “The patient has no past history of suicides.”
  • “Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.”
  • “Patient’s past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.”
  • “She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.”
  • “She is numb from her toes down.”
  • “While in the ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.”
  • “The skin was moist and dry.”
  • “Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.”
  • “Patient was alert and unresponsive.”
  • “She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.”
  • “The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.”
  • “Patient has two teenage children but no other abnormalities.”
  • “By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart stopped, and he was feeling better.”
  • “The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.”
  • “When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.”
  • “The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.”

Remember that laughter is always a great morale booster. So is freeing up office space currently cluttered by boxes of inactive patient records.  Call RSRS to enquire about our compliant scanning and storage services.  Click here to visit our website
or call us at 1-888-563-3732.

For The Love of Paper

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Do you love paper?

Are you struggling with paper dependency?

What is it about paper that makes doctors feel so comfortable?  Here are some of the most common things we here from doctors who tend to justify their attachment to paper…

  1.  “Paper copies aren’t more secure.  “

Yes, we can hold a paper document in our hands and file cabinets don’t freeze or crash.  But consider what happens to paper in a flood or fire… or the faded thermal fax!  Now consider the digital file located in a crashed computer system…saved by the backup held offsite.  And consider the searchable electronic record which allows you to find all the historical platelet counts at a glance or the exact details of a historical surgery in 3 seconds.  While no record keeping system is infallible, the move to digital is a step in the right direction and should be part of every practice that is concerned with sustainability.

  1.  “My office staff doesn’t understand the
    technology”

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It’s true that rolling out an electronic platform does indeed  require an investment of time and sometimes a rather steep learning curve for some.  But if you do convert your paper documents to electronic format, you’ll also have the benefit of re-examining your internal processes… and that’s a good thing, which almost always lends itself to improvement.  There is a tendancy to stick to the status quo for comfort reasons. Don’t be afraid to shake it up a bit. Almost every challenge presents new opportunities.

  1.  “We need a real signature”

There are several legislative bodies that can help clarify how and when digital signatures are appropriate to use.  Canadian law distinguishes between the generic “electronic signature” and the “secure electronic signature,” and this is covered by  PIPEDA .  Federal secure electronic signature regulations make it clear that a secure electronic signature is a digital signature created and verified in a specific manner.  Canada’s Evidence Act contains evidentiary presumptions about both the integrity and validity of electronic documents and of the authenticity of the secure electronic signatures themselves.  See also the Initiatives created by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, which aims to modernize Canadian  civil and criminal law.

Bottom line is:  physicans will eventually have no choice but to be on an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system.

  1. “We’ve always done it this way.”

How dare we question the wisdom of our predecessors!  It was good enough for them!  You’re not a team player!   We can only hope that you don’t subscribe to
any of the above logic.   Yes, change can be scary, but more and more often now, clinging to the status quo is simply not an option.  Bill Gates aptly proclaimed that “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”

  1.  “It’s expensive to build an electronic infrastructure”

Even though provincial programs are available for  EMR funding,  there are still expenses you’ll need to incur eventually.  However, the consequences of ignoring the trends in health care can be significant.  Consider the experience of music retailer HMV,  which struggles to remain relevant despite the loss of its core business – music – to online retailer iTunes.  Blockbuster also didn’t recognize that the future lay in downloading movies, and their bricks-and-mortar operation couldn’t adapt quickly.  We do see some of the same trends in healthcare.  The kindly sole practitioner who once made housecalls with his black doctor’s bag in tow, has already been replaced by larger health teams, walk-in clinics, and practitioners who use social media, mobile apps, and nurse practitioners.

Call us at 1-888-563-3732 to quote on your scanning project.  RSRS will work closely with you to understand your paperless goals, and make recommendations based on our  experience with clients in virtually every business and professional sector.

Should You Outsource Your Scanning?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

 

Should You Outsource Your Medical Scanning?

RSRS - Certified File Scan

 

Management guru Tom Peters, once wrote “Do what you do best and outsource the rest!”

Today, more than ever, companies are focusing on their core functions and outsourcing others to ensure quality and maximize profitability. Consider the function of document management.  Here are some stats Here are some paper-handling statistics provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Captaris. IOMA and Gartner:

The average organization:

  1. Makes 19 copies of each document
  2. Spends $20 in labour to file each document
  3. Spends $120 in labor searching for each misfiled document
  4. Loses 1 out of every 20 documents
  5. Spends 25 hours recreating each lost document
  6. Spends 400 hours per year searching for lost file

Could your staff be utilizing their time on higher value tasks than shuffling paper each day?  Is the time taken up with scanning, filing and searching taking time away from servicing patients?…. How about confirming appointments?  Are the latest reports and consults immediately available to you when your patient comes for the follow up visit or is it sitting in a pile of yet-to-be-scanned incoming papers?

Consider outsourcing your scanning… backfile and day-forward.  RSRS serves as an extension of your office, allowing you and your staff to do what you do best… practice medicine while we make sure that every page of your active patient  records is digitally available for retrieval.  Whether a standalone PDF file or uploaded directly into any EMR system, you can finally say hello to new levels of efficiency.

Fast turnaround.  Up-to-date patient records.  Better patient care.

It’s surprisingly affordable.  Call us today for a free consultation without obligation at 1-888-563-3732.

 

Pediatric Records – Are There Specific Storage and Scanning Requirements?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Google Buzz
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
How long should I retain Pediatric Records?

How long should I retain Pediatric Records?

 

Medical record keeping is one of the most essential aspects of patient care.  When deciding whether to scan your paper records into an EMR,  store them electronically in a separate repository,  or retain them in their original paper format, it is important to bear in mind that the requirements for pediatric medical records retention are quite different from those for an adult. This fact alone, depending on the amount of pediatric patients in your practice, may impact your decision.

RSRS recommends consulting with your provincial College of Physicians & Surgeons as well as with the  Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) for the exact wording of the guidelines pertaining to the particulars of record retention for pediatric patients.

Generally speaking, a pediatric record must be retained  until the child reaches the age of majority PLUS 10 years. This would mean that a newborn’s record must be retained for 28 years. This obligation survives the physician and is passed
on to the physician’s estate.

Due to the lengthy retention period mandated,  scanning the records is the prudent solution.

When consulting with our clients on document scanning,  RSRS generally suggests scanning the records for both active patients,  as well as those for pediatric patients.  By extracting a demographic report from your medical billing system, we can assist you in determining exactly which patients fall into either group.  The active patients are those last seen within the last two (or three) years, while the pediatric patients are those with a Date of Birth that fall within a specific range.

RSRS can scan your records and deliver them in any number of formats.  We can upload them into your EMR, if you have one.  More often than not, we are scanning them into PDF documents which allow our clients to call up independently.  As another alternative, we can upload them into a separate  Document Management System (DMS), which is simply a software application which tracks, stores and allows for immediate retrieval of electronic documents or images. While it  is not specific to medical office application, it lends itself beautifully to one.

For more information about medical scanning for pediatric or other records, day-forward scanning and general conversion, take a look at our website or call us for more information at 1-888-563-3732.  RSRS has been helping physicians, clinics, and hospitals with their medical scanning needs for 15 years – We are the only physician-managed scanning facility and are fully compliant with the rules and guidelines as set forth by provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons as well as by the Provincial Medical Associations and the Canadian Medical Protective Association.