If you’ve been to the doctor in the last few years as a patient, then you’ve probably had one of two experiences with doctors or nurses taking your medical information down. Either they are at a computer taking notes while you’re detailing your concerns and/or symptoms, or they’re writing them down.
As a medical practice, you may have experimented some with both methods of keeping medical records for different reasons. Perhaps you use both in your office. While there are pros and cons to paper medical records as well as electronic, here are some of the major differences from top medical billing companies to help you make the choice regarding what will become standard in your office.
1. Free Up Space
As a medical professional in the United States, there are rules and regulations mandating how long you must keep patient records and information. When you have years and years of records to keep from hundreds and thousands of patients, it’s simple to see how much paper this would use. With electronic storage, you will be able to comply with government regulations regarding patient information without requiring warehouses with thousands of square footage to store it.
2. Save Money on Personnel Needs
Paper records and medical billing requires extra personnel who are trained to handle this information. You’ll need to hire extra personnel to handle the paperwork and organize documents. Depending on your patient volume, this could mean hundreds of hours per month, which equates to tens of thousands of dollars a year or more. When you outsource your billing and patient information to a medical billing company, you save money on personnel needs and keep your office more streamlined as well.
3. Keep Records Longer
As mentioned above, medical records and patient data needs to be kept for a certain number of years before being destroyed. If you have one or two paper copies of every document, what happens if an invoice goes home with one of your employees on accident, or gets placed in a pile to shred? That document may be lost and gone forever. If your office or storage facility is broken into, all your patient’s data could be compromised. With electronic encrypted patient files and billing, you keep your documents safer and more secure.
4. More Efficient Communication
When patients request their medical records, or another doctor requests patient information, your only option may be to fax, mail, or even hand deliver the information. This is time consuming and it doesn’t need to be. With electronic records, emailing over information or printing it on demand is easily done.
5. Permanently Legible Information
Doctors are known for lots of things, and perfectly legible handwriting isn’t one. Over time, as documents sit in storage, handwriting becomes faded and even more illegible. With electronic records, you have data permanently on the “page” and will never experience not being able to read a doctor or nurse’s handwriting.
While there are several reasons you might consider holding onto the hard copies of all your medical records in your office, for patient privacy matters and more efficient communication, electronic record keeping may be the best fit for your office. Reach out to the team at Medical Billing Services LLC today to see how medical billing outsourcing may help your medical practice.