In with the Old?

Physician practices that implement EHR systems have decisions to make on managing their old paper records. Will they bring some forward into the EHR and keep others in storage? Will entire records be brought forward or just selected information? How will records be added to the system—via scanning, data entry? Practices must manage the integrity of all data during the conversion to the new system, and they require workflows and policies for managing any legacy records that they choose to keep in paper form.

A new, web-only article in the AHIMA Body of Knowledge offers guidance on these issues. See “Managing Existing Patient Records in the Transition to EHRs in Physician Practices.”


  1. I have to agree. What is going to happen to all the paper records. I am worried about where my information will be stored.

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  2. What about when a physician leaves the area and has their own EHR system. What should happen to those office records? Any ideas?

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  3. I’m a solo practitioner renegal surgeon and have been using an integrated medical records system for the last 10 years. I believe that many physicians do not completely understand why an electronic medical record system is so valuable. They are lost in the fact that it seems cumbersome to enter the patient’s information. I strongly believe that there is no role for drop-down menus when recording a patient’s history. I continue to use a dictated note as has been done for years, but in my case I use voice recognition to directly import my note into my record system. A computer generated note from drop down menus is really not helpful.The fact that a patient must provide each physician’s office with a medical history at each new patient visit is ridiculous during this age of information technology . A patient transferred from one hospital to another arrives with hand written scribble is ridiculous in 2012.I have worked with a small, user friendly company for 10 years. The system is adaptable and has continued to improve. As a solo practitioner it has been easy to transition my office staff to the current chartless status.I have sought the opportunity to share my thoughts however no one wants to hear from a solo country surgeon. I will continue with my system and continue to enjoy the benefits.I would leave this final note: If a doctor believes that an EMR is there to make things quicker and more economical than he will struggle with the transition. If the doctor realizes that the EMR will make the records transferrable and accessable that adoption will be more smooth.

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