The Ultimate Guide to Medical Records Scanning (Digitisation Best Practices)

July 11, 2023

In this blog post we will delve into the world of medical records scanning, exploring what it entails, how it benefits patients, and the best practices for preparing and organising records for scanning. We will also discuss the advantages of outsourcing this task to specialised scanning services.

What is Medical Records Scanning?

Medical records scanning is the process of converting physical patient records, such as paper documents, X-rays, and other related files, into digital formats. This transformation allows for easier storage, retrieval, and management of medical information.

How Does Digitising Medical Records Benefit the Patients?

Digitising medical records brings numerous benefits not only to healthcare providers but also to patients themselves. By transitioning from physical to digital records, patients can experience:

Improved Accessibility: Digital records can be easily accessed from anywhere, eliminating the need for physical file transfers between healthcare facilities.

Enhanced Efficiency: Electronic records enable faster retrieval of patient information, reducing waiting times and improving the overall quality of care.

Better Data Integrity: Digital records can be protected through encryption and access control, minimising the risk of unauthorised access or loss of sensitive information.

Streamlined Collaboration: Healthcare professionals can easily share and collaborate on digital records, leading to better-coordinated care and more informed decision-making.

Best Practices for Scanning Medical Records

When preparing medical records for scanning, it’s essential to follow best practices to ensure accuracy, efficiency, and data security. Here are some recommended approaches for different types of medical records:

Lloyd George notes

Lloyd George notes, also known as GP records, contain crucial patient information. Make sure to:

  • Organise records chronologically or by patient name to facilitate retrieval.
  • Ensure pages are clean and free from tears, creases, or other damage that may affect legibility.
  • Consider storing in a document management system that can automatically separate and categorise different document types and intregrate with EHR systems.

Standard patient files

Standard patient files encompass various documents, including consultation notes, lab results, and medical histories. Make sure to:

  • Arrange documents in a logical order, preferably following a standardised filing system.
  • Remove any unnecessary or redundant pages to optimise storage space and reduce scanning time.
  • Consider storing in a document management system that can automatically separate and categorise different document types and integrate with EHR systems.


X-rays are critical diagnostic images that need special handling during the scanning process:

  • Ensure proper identification and labeling of each X-ray to avoid mix-ups or misinterpretation.
  • Protect X-rays from scratches or fingerprints by placing them in protective sleeves or envelopes.
  • Utilise our high-quality scanners or specialised equipment designed for optimal image quality.

A&E reports

Accident and Emergency (A&E) reports capture crucial details about patients’ immediate medical needs. Make sure to:

  • Sort reports based on the dare and time of the incident to maintain a chronological order.

Child protection records

Child protection documents contain sensitive information related to safeguarding children’s welfare. Make sure to:

  • Find a company that will adhere to strict data protection protocols to ensure confidentiality and compliance with regulations.
  • Implement robust security measures within your document management system, such as encryption and restricted access, to safeguard sensitive information.
  • Consider putting an NDA in place with your supplier to protect the identities of individuals.

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing Scanning Services?

Outsourcing scanning services for medical records offers several benefits:

Expertise and Experience: Professional scanning services have specialised knowledge, equipment, and trained personnel to efficiently digitise various types of medical records.

Time and Cost Savings: Outsourcing eliminates the need for healthcare providers to invest in scanning equipment, software, and maintenance. It allows them to focus on core activities while saving time and reducing operational costs.

Data Security and Compliance: Reputable scanning services prioritise data security and comply with regulations to protect sensitive patient information, reducing the risk of data breaches.

Scalability and Flexibility: Outsourcing accommodates fluctuating scanning demands, whether it’s a small batch of records or a large-scale project, providing scalability and flexibility as needed.

Streamlined Workflow and Accessibility: Digital records can be seamlessly integrated with electronic health record (EHR) systems, improving accessibility, searchability, and collaboration among healthcare professionals. This enhances workflow efficiency and patient care.

By leveraging the expertise of scanning services, healthcare organisations can streamline their operations, improve data security, and provide better care to patients while reducing costs and saving time.

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