Goals for managing paper

Compiling your goals for reducing paper charts is probably pretty high on your EHR to-do list. After all, one of the bonuses of implementing EHR is no longer having to deal with cumbersome paper documentation. You still have to document procedures, patient visit information, results, and referral information, though — as of now, the EHR does not offer ESP capabilities! Here are some questions to consider when you create your document management goals:

Do you want to move paper charts offsite? If so, do you want any paper documents to remain onsite?

How long do you need to keep your patient records in the office before moving them offsite? (If you didn’t input all patient information via scanning or abstraction, you’ll probably want to hold on to your paper records for a while.)

Can you really create a “paperless” environment? What do you hope to gain from it?

What do you want to change about any manual document processes?

Are providers and staff members apprehensive about eliminating chart pulls for visits, phone calls, or follow-ups?

How much time do you want to save in terms of document filing, refilling, and chart pull?

How can you redeploy your staff since they won’t be pulling charts? (Be mindful that your staff may be concerned about losing their jobs.)

How will you handle the paper that still is sent to your office from outside labs, hospitals, other providers, and patients?

Planning for an EHR-Enabled Workflow

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