Paperless Document Management for Psychologists.
By Annemaria Duran
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with a colleague of mine, “Scott”. He is a Psychologist who works out of his home. His only employees include his wife and an intern. He recounted to me some of the problems that he has faced in maintaining his documents.
As a psychologist, all of his notes, client records, and treatments fall under HIPAA. Yet, he is a small business without the financial feasibility and the space to manage and upkeep all his documents. All of his documents are maintained in filing cabinets in his home, and when I asked Scott, he admitted that sometimes the filing cabinets are accidentally left unlocked. This simple act is technically a breach of HIPAA compliance for maintaining of confidential health records.
In addition, the filing cabinets take up personal space from his family and home. This is a big inconvenience to them! When he has to share his records with others, such as parole officers, the court system, or insurance companies, he must deliver the physical documents. This causes him to loose hours of time a week and to spend more in supplies, mailing, and time.
Fortunately for Scott, a solution was simple. By transitioning to a paperless Document Management System or DMS, he will soon be able to turn four filing cabinets into additional seating for his guests and family. He will be able to access his documents from any location and to easily keep additional copies of his records off-site. (Meaning that he will have backups of his records held in the cloud, stored in multiple backup locations. This takes NO additional effort from him). Instead of taking on the impossible task of duplicating his physical records to another storage location, he is able to have electronic copies of his documents stored in additional locations. As a result, natural disasters and other emergencies cannot affect my friend, or his documents!
For my colleague, eFileCabinet met every need he identified and supplied solutions for other needs he didn’t realize he had.
One of these solutions was a secure client portal which will allow my friend to securely share copies of his documents with the appropriate individuals. Like many providers, he has relied on email to send confidential documents to the court systems, probation officers, and others. Email is considered such a security risk for confidential data that many states are banning the use of email across entire industries for any confidential information. Even “secure” email is often easily hacked with minimal effort and hacking programs.
This creates an issue when a health care provider has to send records to others or to their patients.
Other providers have mistakenly relied on free services, such as Drop Box, or ShareFile to transmit data and documents. However, these platforms likewise offer minimal security and almost no organizational capacities.
The Best Document Storage Solution
Fortunately, there is a solution. eFileCabinet’s Secure Drawer will help my friend to securely transmit documents electronically. Encrypted at 256bits, Secure Drawer is a robust system that would take 30 super computers approximately 1,000 years to decrypt 1 page of data! Plus with a size limitations of 1 full Gigabyte, my friend will never again have to split his attachments into separate emails as he did before.
Another tool that Scott has discovered is the ability to apply an automated retention (included in eFileCabinet) to his client files so that the documents are destroyed in compliance with HIPAA standards. Retention allows for permanent locking protection of documents from deletion and editing. It also allows for the auto tracking of destruction for those documents that are required to be destroyed after the 7 and 10 year timelines HIPAA requires. This feature alone will give my friend the ability to accurately follow HIPAA retention guidelines and will save him hours a month!
The impact on his business and his home was immense.
After using the program a couple of weeks, one of Scotts favorite aspect of the software is how intuitive the program is to use. He was able to immediately start using the software even though he considers himself not tech-savvy.
If you would like to find out more about how eFileCabinet works for phycologists or other health care providers, please contact us by filling out the form on this page for a free demonstration.