This guest post was written by Andrew Szmuc from Desert River Solutions, an Arizona based document scanning company.

The simple answer is no…. There are many levels to this question but we will start with what is absolutely necessary for what you should scan into your EMR software.

I tell all my clients you should scan at the very least all your current patients. I get these two questions right after…

1. Do I need to scan everything in their record?

2. Why can’t I just go forward and not scan anything?

My honest opinion is to scan everything in the chart, this way there is nothing missing from the file. It can be very easy to accidentally miss something in the file, or if something is misfiled in the section you are not supposed to scan.

You can certainly go forward from the present day and not scan anything but some problems may lie ahead. Your overall goal is it go paperless and to get all your files electronic, so if you are thinking of just going paperless chart from the present day, you are not helping your overall goal in going paperless. Having the patients chart all in one place will be a BIG time saver that will help with making your employee’s day a little more efficient, instead of them having to still find their physical chart.

Non-Current Patients

Regarding all patients that are not current, scanning these come down to the resources you are using to keep them and how long will you have to keep them for. If you using space in your office that you need, you will probably want to think about scanning at least some of them. I usually tell clients to think about scanning 2 years back, and everything you need to keep for at least 15 years. If you are spending money on storage, figure out the patients that can be shred, and categorize them by when they will be able to be shed. Figure out the costs that you will be spending for the next 7-15 years on this and if you can completely eliminate that extra storage space.


  • Scan All Paper In Medical Record
  • Scan All Current Patients
  • Scan Two Years Back Worth Of Patients
  • Analyze Resources Being Used For Storing Records
  • Scan Anything That Needs To Kept For 10 Years

This guest post was written by Andrew Szmuc from Desert River Solutions, a company providing document scanning services in Arizona. We focus on medical record scanning, we help transition paper records into EMR software for small medical practices.