Space is at a premium in every busy medical office. Every examining room represents another patient that can be seen, and another seat open in the waiting room. At the same time, relocating to a larger office space can be costly and inconvenient. Often, a smart practice manager will be looking for every opportunity to economize space and make the most of the room they have.One area that might be viewed as a “necessary evil” is the in-house storage room where lines of file cabinets maintain years worth of patient records, insurance forms, and other vital medical documentation. In Florida, as an example, physicians are required to maintain patient records for a minimum of five years, although that statute specifically notes that this time frame “may well be less than the length of time necessary for protecting the physician.”
In the case of a malpractice suit, incidents as old as seven years can be used in support of a claim, so physicians do well to keep records at least that long.
It's obvious, then, that a busy practice maintaining patient records for upwards of seven years can easily fill one or more rooms with filing cabinets stuffed with folders and documents. In this scenario, every room allocated to document storage is a room that's not available for treating patients.
Offsite Documents Storage
One highly effective option for maintaining adequate patient records without wasting space is to have the files stored off-site. Bringing in experts from a records management company to handle your offsite document storage can have a huge impact on your medical practice. Secure offsite storage means:
- Files are securely transported to the offsite location on a routine schedule
- Barcodes are used to label each document and electronically track every file
- The secure storage facility is environmentally controlled to prevent damage
- The facility is monitored via video 24/7 to ensure security
- Any records can be returned physically or made available via electronic scan at any time
If you're in charge of business records management for your medical practice, consider some of the profitable and convenient uses you can put your current storage rooms to if you took advantage of offsite document storage:
- Expand or restructure your lobby and waiting area for a nicer first impression and atmosphere
- Add one or more additional exam rooms for faster and more efficient patient care
- Create a training center for personnel to obtain ongoing education
- Rearrange the layout to enhance privacy for patients
- Create a small lounge or break room where staff can relax for a few minutes throughout the day
Are you interested in more ways offsite storage can help your practice? Find out the 3 Records Management Policies Your Business Needed Yesterday and contact us today to discuss your options for offsite document storage and many other time and space-saving options for records management that can help your medical practice.