It is absolutely vital that records are readily accessible to ensure that your patients receive the best care possible. This means that every organization, from the largest hospital to one-person general practitioner practices, needs to be able to obtain patient records. Every individual involved in a patient's care, from doctors to nurses, need to be able to view a patient's medical history.
While access is key, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economical and Clinical Health) Act have established strict standards for ensuring the security of those records. A balance must be struck between access and security.
When seeking to find that balance, paper records can hold you back and make compliance more difficult. Paper records are difficult to share and not inherently secure, since documents can be lost, misplaced, or stolen.