Benefits of Converting from Paper Chart to EMR

Today, I decided to start a new web page that I believe will really grow over time. It’s basically a list of the possible benefits a doctor or clinic can receive from using an EMR or EHR rather than paper charts.

I haven’t take much time to make the list at all, but I think it’s better to start it and then as ideas come to my head I can add to it as time permits. I already have a number of other ideas (like quality of medical care), but I need some more free time to put all the details down. Now that I’m thinking about it a little bit more, maybe each benefit of an EMR should have it’s very own blog post describing the benefit that’s received by using EMR. We’ll see how that works. Seems like a worthwhile series of posts to me.

Also, in all fairness I’m certain that I’ll also soon be creating a list of problems associated with EMR. I think it’s important to keep the discussion well rounded and that people are well aware of both the benefits and challenges associated with using an EMR.

Finally, I certainly welcome comments from people on benefits or challenges associated with use of an EMR. I look forward to hearing ideas from other people’s experience to help me round out the list of benefits and challenges that many have already experienced first hand. Might as well try to pass on that knowledge to those who are still implementing or looking to implement.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • John,
    just wanted to say I just recently found your blog. I work for a company that scans paper, film/fiche, and large format. We have scanned many Patient Charts. I have read some of your previous posts and have to say you are doing a great job. Just wanted to mention that outsourcing the scanning of Patient charts has many benefits and can generally be done for less than inhouse and much faster, as well as guaranteed quality. Those are just a couple reasons to consider the outsourcing of scanning patient charts. Keep up the good work.

  • Hi Bud,
    Thanks for the kind words. They are appreciated.

    I do see outsourcing scanning as a good alternative when you want to scan the old paper charts. Not sure how it would integrate with an EMR though. However, to free up the space of your old paper charts it’s great. We’ve done that in our clinic.

  • John,
    With regard to integration with EMR, we have worked with NexGen on several installs and integrated with their system seamlessly. We worked with their suppport staff on their import utility to utilize barcode sheets to determine where in the EMR each document goes. We scan, index and import directly into the EMR, so the chart is accessible from inside NexGen. We have also assisted ChartCapture in importing our scanned charts into their system, once again developing the means to import documents to their specific. As we continue to scan medical charts into new EMR systems, we hope develop methods, to utilize high-speed scanning and work with their import utility to seamlessly integrate.

  • Bud,
    Interesting integration. I’ve seen this a number of times, but never as an outsourced scanning. Is this a situation where you just set up the scanning and then the office does it? Or you set it up and then weekly you stop by and scan in the stacks of paper?

  • John,
    Most of the patient chart scanning we do onsite. We have the ability to do the prep, scan, index, QC and import to the EMR onsite. We typically do the prep and scanning onsite, utilize remote VPN to do the indexing, QC and import from our office. We can however, set up and train the staff to do any or all of those functions, and oversee via onsite visits or remote services. Once the backfile is complete any day-forward is generally done by the practice.

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