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Five Benefits of Electronic Medical Records vs. Paper Medical Records

Do you look at your school’s paper medical records and feel confident that they are all there and they are 100% accurate?

A lot of people are distrustful of paper records. There are a lot of issues surrounding efficiency, storage and even ensuring DfE statutory guidelines are met.

Apart from the physical differences between paper records and an online paperless system, there are several distinct features of electronic medical records that are beneficial, making the transition from filing cabinet to secure cloud storage worth it.

1. Costs

Although your school may experience some initial costs implementing a system for storing medical records, the costs of records over time will decrease significantly. Paper records require more personnel to manage and maintain paper files, accesses and organise countless documents. However, an electronic system means less man power, time and physical storage space are needed. Medical Tracker can help reduce time by:

  • Tracking medication and first aid qualification expiry dates and sending out automated reminders
  • Notifying parents/ carers after an incident is recorded at the click of a button
  • Find an incidents from months, or years, ago by simply searching for the student’s name
  • Creating a number of in-depth reports in seconds

“The email notification that children’s medication will be expiring is brilliant. Our medical room is extremely busy and the manual checking of medication is very time consuming however, upon receiving medication the details are entered into MET and when the expiry date is near we will receive an email. We then notify the parent”. – Cuckoo Hall Academy Trust

2. Storage

Schools are expected to keep student records, which includes medical records, until a student is 25 years old. This means all the handwritten first aid and medication administration records need to be stored. Not only do those records take up space, but they are also very hard to find if an incident needs to be investigated months, or years, after an incident occurs. Electronic records, however, can be stored in a private and secure cloud, allowing the use of fewer resources and providing easier access by those who need them.

“We’re much more compliant and efficient now”. – Hawthorn Tree Primary School

3. Security

Paper systems are susceptible to security concerns. If a child has medical concerns that should not be shared then paper records can be misplaced, as

If records are in paper form they could be lost as a result of a record due to human error, or damage as a result of a fire or flood. Many schools just keep just one copy of a paper record, the loss of a single record could mean that it’s gone for good.

“Meanwhile, data is kept safe in a secure offsite location and to much higher standards that we could realistically achieve through a server-based solution in school”. – St Anne’s Infants School

4. Access

Often, if paper medical records need to be found, they must be recovered – perhaps from a school’s basement or stockroom – then mailed or scanned and sent via email — a time-consuming process. However, the use of electronic medical records allows school staff to access the information they need almost instantly.

“It also keeps records in once central place that is easily accessed”. – South Shields Community School

5. Readability and Accuracy

Paper medical records are sometimes difficult to read and understand due to eligibility issues. A number of employees will record incidents meaning different levels of penmanship. We have come across a school that re-writes all records after they are created by staff throughout the day- this is a time-consuming task.

Schools are also often unaware of the Department for Education guidelines surrounding medication and first aid meaning necessary records and information are not record. Electronic systems like Medical Tracker are built according to DfE guidance which means every record is fully compliant no matter which staff member is recording the incident.

“Medical Tracker helps us to comply with Ofsted guidelines for medication tracking and first aid reporting”. – South Shields Community School

Lack of understanding on the part of schools, along with security-related concerns, have served as deterrents for the adoption of electronic medical records. So what is the key to making a smooth transition from paper records? A secure and experienced provider that can offer clear and compliant medical records. Find out more at: www.medicaltracker.co.uk

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