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Paper Charts After EMR Implementation

So okay. You made the leap. You switched from paper to EMR. Time passed. You’ve got a wall full of paper folders, but you rarely pull one any more. What do you do?

You can hire an HIPAA compliant company to scan them into our computers. That costs. It can even be spendy. But then, tap, tap, you can call up anything you want. The records are indexed. If a patient wants his records, tap, tap again.

Scanning is tedious. You scan them yourself as you go. That will take care of the charts you use the most. Then you can hire somebody to finish them off. Fewer charts for them to scan. Lower cost to you.
As the transformation of medical records from paper to computer continues, more and more patients will be asking for their EMR for numerous reasons. They’re moving. They have to see a specialist. They, uh, want to switch doctors.

The experience of many providers is that they pull paper charts out of habit even after they got EMR. This was like having training wheels on a bicycle. They ask for paper charts less and less, and eventually, having gotten used to EMR, they stopped asking for them.

Most providers are telling us that after a while calling up EMR and entering data into them becomes second nature. They just jump on their EMR bike and ride. No biggie.

Or not. You can keep your records on paper. When the country switched from horses to automobiles, there were presumably some physicians who didn’t want to give up on the old nag tied up outside. The oats cost and she pooped on the street, but she was a charming reminder of the good old days.

The old gray mare, she ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be, ain’t what she used to be.

Many long years ago.