Importance of getting Old Medical Records Indexed

In recent times, medical science has advanced to new heights, and numerous drugs are being invented to cure a broad spectrum of diseases. However, the simple fact is that we still watch swarms of patients crowded in hospitals. The reason is that new and challenging diseases develop as we eradicate the old ones. As patients increase day by day, medical practitioners and institutions tend to get rid of their old patients’ paper-based medical records to render space for the new ones. Nevertheless, it is not advisable to do so. Let us analyze the importance of preserving these old medical records.

  • A question of law: According to several state and federal laws, it is mandatory that a medical practitioner or institution archive all the old medical records for a certain time span. For instance, in most US states the time span for a hospital to preserve old medical records is 7 years.
  • Save Time: Bunches of paper based medical records will take you nowhere when you search for important information of an old patient. After a long wait, you will end up only in confusion and not arrive at the expected result. By indexing medical records, it is easier to search and save time as the information about a patient can be retrieved instantly.
  • Safety of the records: As we all know, paper is prone to destruction by forces of nature such as floods, fire and pests.  When records are indexed and stored electronically with sufficient back-up, these threats are negated and the data can be easily restored from the back-up.
  • Easy Accessibility: The time has gone when medical institutions used to archive patient’s demographic and treatment information in different locations. It is not only time consuming but space consuming too. Indexing medical records can integrate and store all information at one place for easy review and easily accessible.
  • Archiving varied details: With the indexing method, medical institutions can easily archive varied details of a patient, including insurance information, health insurance ID card, demographic information and EOBs. It can be done easily to their electronic medical record system. The archived patients’ information can serve as documentary evidences in several cases of law. So, it is vital that they get indexed properly for later evaluation.

Now that there is an insight on the importance indexing medical records, start practicing it for the welfare of your medical institution as well as that of your patients!