For practices that use paper charts instead of EHR, filing and storage can be a challenge. As one beleaguered doctor observed, “I just can’t imagine filing all the papers for each visit. I’ll need to add an addition to my clinic to store all the files!”
Hold off on remodeling or renting a storage unit.
You can easily minimize your paperwork by scanning and storing it digitally. But keeping on top of it is the key.
This simple administrative task is best performed as a patient completes their active episode of care. Scan the paperwork for the entire episode, from history to discharge. (You are formally discharging patients aren’t you?)
Then, you can then store it using a HIPAA-compliant online resource such as Sharefile, Dropbox, or Box. Any of these storage options allow you access to your files from any computer, but are password-protected for your patients’ privacy.
For ease of reference, consider using a hierarchy that allows your highest level of files to be alpha, by last name. Break them down into manageable bundles, just as you would in a filing cabinet: A-G, H-P, Q-Z, or similar. If you have a patient with the last name of, say, Allen, you would simply look in your electronic A-G folder. With each set of documentation, those files might include, for example, “2015-06 Neck,” to reference an episode of care that began in June of 2015 and was for a neck condition. You could also use a date range. Then simply scan it in date order.
Easy, efficient—and no building permit needed.