Destroying Paper

September 1, 2004

I am converting to an electronic medical record (EMR) system. Do I have to keep all my old paper records or is it legally acceptable to just keep scanned versions?

Question: I am converting to an electronic medical record (EMR) system. Do I have to keep all my old paper records or is it legally acceptable to just keep scanned versions?

Answer: Whether you need to maintain paper records when converting to an EMR partly depends on what exactly you are converting. If you are recreating the entire record in a digital format, you should be OK disposing of the paper version. However, if you are only converting data such as lab results, you'll need the full paper record. We'd advise you to also seek the counsel of the risk management department of your malpractice carrier.