It has become fashionable on the Internet to refer to traditional newspapers as “dead tree” media. This of course refers to the many thousands of trees that are cut down every day and used to make paper. If you are using traditional paper charts then you are using “dead tree” charts. There is a better way.
It is possible to turn dead tree (paper) information into electronic digital information. There are four ways to create digital information.
Enter it: What this refers to is the process of directly typing or clicking in information.
Capture it: Digital capture refers to a process that creates or captures information (usually images) into an electronic format. In dentistry the best examples would be digital photographs and digital radiographs.
Scan it: A scanner is a hardware device that converts hard copy papers into soft copy digital information.
Import it: Data import does not create new digital information. It is a function that allows users to add already existing digital information to a patient record. The difference between scanning and importing is that scanning starts with a piece of paper. Importing never goes through a paper phase.