Why Scanning Should be Integrated into Workflow
In my previous scanning post we discussed the important role scanning documents plays in a successful EHR implementation. Moving from paper to electronic medical records takes a plan to know what you want to migrate from your files to your computer. But what about after your implementation and now in your daily workflow? Does scanning have a new role? Practices and hospitals alike find that while going digital helps to lessen the paper flow it still doesn’t eliminate it. There will always be something that might be acquired on paper. And when that happens, it is important to scan the document and be sure it gets included in a patients record.
Having scanning stations that are available and easily accessible for use will help integrate scanning needs into your workflow. If the scanner is off in a workroom or administrative office, it is more likely the task will be overlooked or put off in a to-do pile. Consider more than one scanner depending on your physical layout and system workstations. Here are some areas where you might continue to see documents for patients in paper form and should be included in a patient’s electronic record. Where is this paper being collected and how can it get scanned into your system most efficiently?
- New patient admissions and history forms
- Capture ID and insurance card images
- Referrals sent from other physicians
- Medical Orders
- Patient submitted history records
- Patient submitted lab or procedure results
- Consent forms
- Payer EOBs or denial and resubmit documentation
Practices should also remember their overall business and consider digitizing all areas not just patient records. Human Resources is a big paper department with employee records and files. There are a lot of forms that start on paper for the simple fact of collecting signatures. Are you still keeping all this information in file cabinets? Consider digital employee files and scan the documents for electronic retrieval and storage.
Is your practice still using paper log sheets for medication dispensing and inventory reconciliation? Are you still using a paper sign-in sheet for patients when they arrive? Are you still receiving paper faxes for business or patients? Evaluate all the paper processes and consider a solution to convert to electronic or continue and store by scanning the documents. Benefits to electronic documents range from ease of ability to retrieve and share to simply eliminating the physical storage needs of paper documents.
- The National Learning Consortium (NLC) Chart Migration and Scanning Checklist – developed for the NLC by the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC). The document contains two sections, one on scanning and preloading data and the other on chart migration.
- The check list is included on HealthIT.gov in step 4 of How to Implement EHRs.
- AHIMA Body of Knowledge document – Migrating from Paper to EHRs in Physician Practices
- HealthIT.gov – Workflow Redesign Templates
- HRSA Webinar – Tips On Workflow Analysis During a EHR Implementation
This post was sponsored by Canon U.S.A. Inc. With a combination of performance, convenience, and flexibility, the Canon imageFORMULA DR-M160 scanner is a compact document imaging solution for office environments. Its user-friendly design, high-quality image processing, reliable item handling, and intelligent software offer end-to-end options for capturing, converting, communicating, and controlling business information.