Why Make a Medical Electronic Copy?
Scan your medical records on your computer. Once you have all the physical copies of your medical record, you must also scan them and have electronic copies.  Having a digital copy of your medical billing records will protect you in case your paper copies are damaged or lost. This is of particular concern to people living in areas that are at high risk of floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters.
- Most printers have the ability to scan documents, so you will not normally need any other equipment.
- Once you scan the physical copies on your computer, create a folder “Medical records” and then subfolders for each medical provider. Place the scanned files in the corresponding folders.
- As an alternative, you can enter the data of your physical copies on your computer by hand (by typing them); however, it will take you much longer to scan.
Purchase a specific computer program for personal medical records. If you have a word processing program that you’re familiar with, that’s great; however, be aware that there is also a program specifically designed to organize personal medical records. You will still have to scan the physical documents, but the special program will do practically the whole organization for you.
- The cost of the new program usually ranges from $ 25 to $ 75 and could also include some kind of online technical support.
- Search online for the program that best suits your budget and level of computer experience. Some companies may offer free trials for limited periods of time.
- Regardless of how your files are organized on your computer, you should make a backup on a physical disk, external hard drive or portable USB memory.
Check the medical records online. Some health care providers, hospitals and insurance plans offer online records that you can access remotely. In other words, they place your medical records online (with your permission and in a secure database) so you can access them conveniently from your computer at home or even from your phone. If that is the case with your caregivers, then that could save you the time and hassle of scanning your physical copies.
- You may need special programs or applications to access and browse your medical records online. Ask your primary caregiver (or your staff) for recommendations.
- If you are concerned about the security of your personal information online, you can request that your health care provider or medical center not store any of your files online.
Save your medical records online. Another electronic option is to store your personal medical records on a secure third-party website (or in the “cloud”) once you have scanned the documents onto your computer. In fact, your health insurance plan, primary caregiver or hospital may have one that you can use for free. Also, a number of Internet-based companies offer digital storage space for your personal medical records online, as well as the use of their eHealth tools, either for free or for a fee.
- With your permission, your family members and caregivers can access your personal medical records that are stored online, which will eliminate the need to take your physical copies in a folder.
- If you use any tool online, make sure it is protected with a password.
- Make sure to record the login information and passwords of any Internet site that stores your medical records.