A physician or medical facility may turn to a medical records company for a few different reasons:
- Transitioning from paper files to electronic files enable easier access and updates by computer.
- Long term storage after a physician retires ensures files remain available for the patient’s access, as required by law.
Many doctor’s offices have moved patient files to an electronic system. Not only does the process alleviate space, patient records updates can also be made available through an online portal, accessible to the patient via a secure login. Then when a patient requests a copy of his or her files, the transmission is executed electronically. This saves time, especially when a specialist is awaiting information to diagnose a patient. For data protection, a backup of all files can be saved to a secure, offsite network.
Eliminating paper files removes clutter, opens up storage space and prevents files from being lost or misplaced. Records can be accessed at any network computer to be updated by the front desk staff, nurse, or physician without locating and toting physical files around the office.
After a Medical Office Closes
Beyond convenience considerations, physicians are required to comply with their state laws regarding the availability of medical information post-retirement. Prior to the closing of a medical office, the physician must begin the process of moving his patients’ records to a secure location for long term storage.
A Medical Records Custodian Service can offer physical storage of paper records or scan all documents for electronic storage.
The Physician’s Family
The responsibility of maintaining medical records does not evaporate when a physician passes. Along with the estate comes the inheritance of an onus to protect vital medical files for as long as that physician’s state requires.
Harborsafe can provide chart scanning and storage services for family members, insurance companies or attorneys requesting the protection of the physician’s files. Some states may require records availability for decades. Harborsafe brings the experience and expertise to safeguard important records and properly discard them when the time comes, as required by HIPAA laws.
What Should You Expect from a Medical Records Custodian Service?
You have taken great care of your patients; we will take great care of their medical charts.
Prior to office closure, we recommend you notify patients of the situation and offer them the opportunity to obtain a copy of their records at that time. Once you are ready, we will retrieve records from your location, if convenient for you and your staff.
Your records will be scanned, stored, and protected in accordance with law and HIPAA requirements. If information is requested by a patient, we will handle the disbursement of records to the patient, physician or facility requested by that patient. At that time, records can be transmitted readily to the designated party.