Going Paperless

by Larry Emmott on November 9, 2005

in Management

A practical way to go paperless is to establish an infrastructure that includes both a fully integrated practice management software program and a complete digital network with computers in treatment rooms.
Next, add digital images-both photos and x-ray-and add a scanner to convert paper to a digital format.
Then, set a date when staff will enter all new chart data electronically. From that day forward, no additional paper records will be created.
As you go paperless, at first you will need to access the paper charts of all of your patients, as you will be referring to previous paper entries. As time goes on, though, you will refer less and less to the old paper records.
After a year, all current x-rays will be digital, and all recent entries and treatment plans for patients should now be digital. At this point, it is possible to stop pulling charts.
For awhile, though, you still will need to refer fairly often to old paper charts for entries or x-rays that are more than a year old. Eventually, you will rarely ever need to pull a paper chart.

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