From Medical Economics:
ME: If physical copies are converted to electronic records, can the physical copies then be destroyed?
Rangel: Yes, you can destroy the paper records after they’re scanned. Usually, after they’ve been reviewed for a certain amount of time, generally speaking, 30 to 60 days, once you can actually qualify that all of the material is properly scanned, that the quality is there and that it is the natural representative of what was scanned. Once you have that, you can destroy those records.
An interesting article worth the click.
The article brings up the old worry that exposing an open file in the office is a HIPAA violation. This is true and we should always strive to keep all patient information confidential. However what the HIPAA privacy rules are really concerned with digital data and the possibility of major data breaches. The occasional exposed chart is not what the law is all about.
Nevertheless there are important issues regarding paper files and we do need to be aware of them and practice good stewardship and respect our patients.