The healthcare industry is one of the most paper-intensive markets in the world. There are countless patient records, insurance forms, lab reports, billing and payment statements, charts, graphs, and nurses' reports to track. Every conceivable type of medical encounter, including every patient visit, case, prescription, and operation, generates electronic and paper data that requires tracking, monitoring, auditing, updating, and ultimately filing. Experts estimate that an astonishing 75 million pages of medical claims are processed every day in the United States.
Mounting economic and competitive forces are pressuring healthcare providers to contain escalating costs while insisting on continually upgrading the quality of care. Healthcare providers are desperate for measures to reduce these costs and more efficiently expedite paperwork.
Document imaging is a proven and much-needed solution to the problems that the healthcare industry is facing. The healthcare industry's objectives to reduce cost, improve productivity and help comply with H.I.P.A.A. are fulfilled using a document imaging system. Several distinguishing features separate document imaging from an EMR system:
First, DIS-Imaging is an imaging-based system rather than an application-based system. One of the major problems facing physicians that purchase an application-based EMR system is that the entire practice must spend a significant amount of time learning the application. With our document imaging system, a physician and staff can become proficient users with no more than 15-20 minutes of training.
Another major problem facing physicians that use an application-based EMR system is that the physician, or the highest-paid staff members, performs the data entry. It takes a person with a strong medical background to know what information to extract from a patient's record to complete the patient encounter application. Not other industry has the highest paid, key employees performing data entry into a computer application, yet the healthcare industry continues to pursue this methodology. In contrast, using a document imaging system the patient records are scanned into the system by the lowest paid employee. That staff member only needs to be taught how to identify the document by patient name, patient number, date of service, and the category of the document, such as Lab Report, X-ray, or Progress Note.
An application-based EMR system often does not allow complete digital conversion of historical patient records. For example, few offices that purchases an application-based EMR system ever do a backroom file conversion. It is simply too time-consuming and expensive to enter data of a patient's entire history into the system. The end result is a dual record management system: an electronic medical record system and a paper medical record system. Document imaging eliminates the dual system, bringing every patient record, old and new, into one electronic medical record system.
An application-based EMR system can expose a physician to unwanted consequences in a malpractice lawsuit. When the EMR application undergoes upgrades, or over time the data is either manipulated or simply does not display information as it did on the original date of service, the patient record loses legal reliability. A physician can be sued up to ten years after a medical problem is discovered, making them exposed to malpractice claims for their entire careers. For guaranteed protection, most legal advisors are recommending that a physician keep a paper copy of all the patient's medical records and print any progress notes and patient encounter notes from the application. This continues the burden of maintaining a dual medical record system. Document imaging systems that convert paper documents into electronic PDF files have a long history of acceptability in the U.S. Federal Court System because they are exact electronic replicas of their paper counterparts.
Document imaging gives the physician the choice of continuing to use paper during a patient encounter or to use whatever method they currently use to document the patient encounter. In a multi-physician practice, this is a noreworthy advantage because an EMR system require every physician to adapt to the methodology of the EMR system, whether they eant to continue to use paper or not. We go one step further by encouraging a practice to eliminate the dual medical record system they are struggling with.
You will find that document imaging solves ninty-five percent of a physician's medical record problems. Document imaging helps cut costs, it increases productivity and it helps a healthcare organixation meet the challenge of H.I.P.A.A.