Document Management

Top 3 Benefits of Digitizing Medical Records

Top 3 Benefits of Digitizing Medical Records

by Pat Pharr - February 23, 2023

Violating Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements can be costly for healthcare organizations. In 2022, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled 129 cases of HIPAA violations for over $133.5 million.

As technology advances and pressures for HIPAA compliance increase, the need to digitize patient medical records is growing. This is where medical record scanning services come into play.

Medical record scanning services help healthcare providers convert paper-based patient medical records into secure electronic files while ensuring strict regulatory compliance.

Digitizing medical records offer significant benefits beyond regulatory compliance, so if you haven’t considered digitizing your medical records, here are a few reasons why you should.

3 Reasons to Digitize Medical Records

Let’s dive deeper into the primary benefits of digitizing medical records. 

1. Ensure HIPAA Compliance 

The HIPAA Security Rule requires “appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronic protected health information (PHI).”

Digitizing medical records makes it easier for healthcare organizations to adhere to HIPAA regulations. By moving from paper-based to digital formats, healthcare providers can more easily encrypt sensitive data, maintain audit trails, and securely share patient information with authorized parties. Digitized medical records are also more secure since paper files can be mislabeled, misplaced, incorrectly filed, or worse, completely destroyed in fires or floods. 

2. Improve Accessibility 

Digitized medical records are easily searchable, retrievable, and more readily accessible to authorized personnel, allowing for improved communication and collaboration between different departments within a healthcare organization.

By consolidating all relevant data into digital formats, healthcare providers can quickly access the most up-to-date version of any record while easily protecting it from unauthorized access or malicious cyberattack. This greater accessibility and streamlined workflow ultimately result in improved patient care.

With document digitization, medical staff will no longer have to manually search through stacks of paper records to find specific information. Instead, they can focus on what matters most – improving the patient experience.

3. Reduce Costs 

Digitizing medical records helps reduce costs in several ways. Healthcare organizations no longer need to purchase and maintain physical storage systems, such as filing cabinets and shelving units.

Digitization also reduces printing costs since all records can be managed digitally, eliminating the need for hard copies of patient files. Furthermore, digital record-keeping shortens the time spent on manual tasks associated with retrieving and organizing documents, saving labor costs while increasing efficiency.

Types of Medical Records to Digitize for HIPAA Compliance

Healthcare organizations can digitize a wide range of medical records. These digital documents can be securely stored in electronic health record (EHR) systems or other HIPAA-compliant cloud storage solutions. 

An experienced document scanning service provider will be able to digitize the following: 

  • Referrals
  • Lab reports
  • Medical history
  • Progress notes
  • Treatment plans
  • Insurance papers
  • Physical exam findings
  • Patient demographic information

Achieve Continual HIPAA Compliance with Medical Record Scanning Services

By digitizing medical records, healthcare facilities can increase security, improve accessibility, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience. Adopting a proactive mindset and investing in a medical record scanning service will help your healthcare organization avoid costly penalties and remain HIPAA compliant.

Meridian will quickly convert your paper-based medical records into secure digital files without interrupting your mission-critical services. By partnering with a trusted provider that adheres to HIPAA requirements, you can guarantee the protection of a patient’s most critical assets—their private personal data.

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