While there’s no question that keeping defensible medical records is essential for those in the healthcare profession, properly storing them for the recommended 25 years can be a huge burden. There are many issues involved in the confidential, secure storage of consultation reports and other medical records, but thankfully there are also modern-day solutions that can alleviate most—if not all—of the problems associated with storing consultation reports.
The Uphill Battle of Record Storage
There is a laundry list of reasons why medical document storage is such a challenge. Medical practices must comply with government regulations, which can vary by state and require the storage of documents for up to 25 years for each patient they see—this applies even to consultation reports.
Offices simply don’t have the room to store all of these files. When they run out of room, medical practices often assume that storing their records offsite is their only option. However, this can be costly and can also result in serious security issues and concerns.
These 2 issues are the major reasons healthcare companies are increasingly looking for modern-day solutions, but there are many more:
- Lost time. When employees are forced to sort through an entire room full of records, or go off-site to get what they need, they’re wasting precious time that could be spent on billable activities.
- Risk of data loss or breach. Keeping physical files onsite puts medical offices at a serious risk of data breach, destruction of those files, or loss.
- Unauthorized access to files. Medical records are confidential and are a hackers dream when it comes to collecting personal information, but nefarious theft isn’t the only thing to worry about. Employees can be careless and leave files where they shouldn’t—which can result in unauthorized staff or patients accidentally having access to files.
- The potential for destruction. What happens in the event of a fire or natural disaster? What if a room full of records becomes flooded when a pipe bursts elsewhere in the building? There are a million ways that physical files can be destroyed, all of which put the medical practice in a seriously sticky situation.
Document Management Software Offers Comprehensive Solutions
Each of the problems outlined above is solved by the many features available in document management software (DMS). When healthcare practices choose to store their documents in the Cloud, they can significantly reduce their overhead costs. They no longer have a need for physical file cabinets, reams and reams of paper, numerous copies of all documents, and they can save significantly by no longer paying postage to send files to other offices or to their patients.
Instead, with a few clicks of their mouse they can scan and upload documents to securely save them. When documents need to be shared among employees or with patients, DMS makes it easy to do so. The right DMS is completely customizable so every practice can find the best way to store and share their documents.
The biggest reason healthcare practices are reluctant to move to DMS is because they’re worried about security. The reality is that storing documents in the Cloud actually has numerous security benefits. The vast majority of medical practices will have significantly enhanced security when they move to DMS.
There are several ways healthcare practices will get additional security. First of all, heavy encryption ensures documents are not accessible to hackers. Secondly, DMS frequently backs up documents to off-site data centers. This not only keeps them safe from corruption, but it prevents the issues that can occur with physical files, as documents can’t be destroyed by fires, floods, natural disasters, or carelessness.
eFileCabinet Has Features Specifically Designed for Medical Practices
There are many DMS options to choose from, but eFileCabinet offers unique features that are specifically designed for companies and individuals in the healthcare field.
- An organizational structure that’s easy to use and intuitive to learn
- 256-bit encryption for comprehensive security
- Role-based securities allow companies to grant access to files on a case-by-case basis. For example, a medical practice can designate consultation reports as accessible to only the doctors working on those files, or they can set permissions to allow all doctors access to them. Support staff can have access to documents they need for their jobs without getting full access to all medical documents for a particular client.
- Built-in HIPAA compliance increases consistency and can help prevent human error—which is the leading cause of HIPAA compliance issues.
- 3rd party software integrations make it easy for clients to use eFileCabinet with a wide range of billing and filing software programs.
While these are all compelling reasons clients are choosing eFileCabinet over paper files, it’s also important to remember that using a computer is simply easier than using files. Medical staff don’t have to get up, find files, and then refile them when they’re done, and they can view their files from anywhere they have an internet connection. To learn more about the many advantages of eFileCabinet, fill out the form on this page for a 15-minute demo.