Every generation must navigate technology shifts. Some of us remember the change from typewriters to computer keyboards. Others grew up with landlines but now wield cell phones. Disaster recovery services and the companies we serve face a similar technological shift, from hard copies of important papers to electronic documents. At this point, it is clear that electronic medical records (EMR) will dominate tomorrow’s health world. Here are a few advantages to storing health records electronically, whether in the internet cloud or on remote hard drives:
No Water Damage Risk for X-Rays and other Crucial Documents
Because health records such as X-rays are often irreplaceable, many hospitals keep them on upper stories to avoid the possibility of flooding. Even with such precautions, health facilities may end up with wet documents on their hands – a minor fire could set off the sprinkler system, for instance. When an X-ray becomes wet, two things happen: water stains begin to form on the film, and the emulsion softens and adheres to whatever it’s touching, which could be another X-ray, a medical document or the jacket.
The most advanced hospitals are moving toward digitally savvy systems in which important documents are scanned into a shared system. However, this approach is cost-prohibitive for many smaller, rural health centers. In such instances, disaster recovery systems can step in to restore wet documents.
Immune to Fire as well as Wear and Tear
Another advantage of storing health records electronically is that such a system is safe from fires. Of course, system administrators must ensure that data servers are located off-site, so a ripping inferno doesn’t burn through servers as well as hard copies. Indeed, backup servers should be located in a different geographical zone altogether so as to render a city- or region-wide disaster harmless. Beyond the dramatic effect of fire, medical records are liable to become damaged over time simply by dint of everyday handling. EMR systems solve both problems.
Easy to Search and Store
Many health professionals eagerly await the broad adoption of EMR approaches. Such doctors, nurses and administrative professionals recognize that electronically stored health records will be far easier to access on the fly, in the face of time-sensitive medical situations. Rather than sending a colleague to fetch paper documents, health professionals will simply search for requisite records on mobile devices connected wirelessly to the hospital’s EMR system. Furthermore, health facilities will find themselves blessed with extra usable space when they clear out the clunky filing cabinets that previously stored patients’ health records.
As you can see, EMR adoption is on the horizon. However, until every health facility has converted to electronic storage solutions, disaster recovery services such as Polygon can help hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities protect against and recover from flooding and other disasters. Whether or not your health center has an EMR system, wet documents don’t have to mean the loss of critical patient data.
[ Photo by: espensorvik, via CC License ]