Whenever you receive treatment for any type of health ailment, the physician or doctor that attends to you will maintain a record of the treatment process. This history of treatment becomes part of your permanent medical record, with the data filed along with information about previous treatments.
While in the past, this meant that doctors had to maintain a huge inventory of paper documents, there are several alternatives to this process today. Here are some examples of alternate medical records filing processes.
Types of Medical Records Filing Systems
For many doctors, the advent of the desktop computer has revolutionized the way that patient records are maintained. While the older method of paper files is still observed, the addition of an electronic copy preserved on a computer hard drive means that even if something happens to the hard copy, the data can be retrieved, printed, and a new hard copy compiled.
For many offices, a database is used to create an electronic file for the patient. Everything from doctor’s notes to blood-work results to charges are maintained in the electronic file, and can be retrieved quickly by anyone with the proper authorization.
Electronic Medical Records Filing
Along with maintaining a database and a hard copy file, many medical facilities now use electronic data storage options as well. This usually involves using the power of the Internet to connect with a remote server and upload the patient files into an encrypted storage section of the server. As with the database, it is necessary to have access credentials to retrieve the files, so doctor – patient confidentiality is still protected.
The advantage to this type of medical records filing is that even if the doctor’s office is damaged by fire or some natural disaster, the patient files can still be retrieved when necessary.
Medical records filing is important for both the physician and the patient. Accurate filing ensures the doctor will have what he or she needs in hand when attending to a patient. For the patient, the filing helps to ensure that the patient does not have to constantly go over old ground every time he or she needs medical attention. Thanks to modern medical record storage methods, the filing is easier to work with than ever before.