Data Archiving Services

SEMRT EMR Data Archiving

Retiring Doctors - or - those Moving Out of Province

As Doctor's retire or move to other jurisdictions, their responsibility as custodian of their patient's medical records does not end.  In fact in the event of a physician's death - the estate still has the same responsibility.  So - most physicians need to get a copy of their electronic medical records in case they are needed in medical or legal proceedings in the future.  They must also upon request provide a copy to the patients.

Some doctors keep their paper files, some store them with archiving companies, some get their records as PDFs and others continue to use their EMR program in a 'read only' mode.  There are problems with each of these methods that can introduce extra liability on the physician.  The SEMRT archiving tool/process helps to address each of these issues - and provides the physician with a much better alternative.  You can read our blog post on this subject on our SEMRT Blog.

Advantages of the SEMRT Viewer

More Information:  The TimeAcct extract process gets as much of your data out of the Source EMR as possible.  However, in many cases, in order to provide the data to the new EMR vendor it needs to pass through the various conversion formats such as Alberta's COPD and Ontario's CMS.  These formats cannot support every piece of data from every EMR and may actually contribute to some data loss.  For example some conversion formats have limited support for meta data for attachments - such as Notes and Titles associated with scanned in images.  TimeAcct's database and viewer ensure that you have the most information about your data as can be extracted from the Source EMR

Ability to Purge Medical Records: Most doctors know that they (and their estate) have to keep medical records to which they are responsible for many years after they last saw the patient.  While it differs for each jurisdiction, a basic rule of thumb is 10 year (or 10 years after the patient reaches the age of majority).  What is not as well known - is that they are also responsible for the destruction of the medical records!  Doctors do not have the right to keep a patient's medical record beyond what they are allowed to under Federal or Provincial legislation.  So - a doctor must regularly monitor the medical records under his/her care to make sure that they are securely purged from his/her possession - based on the appropriate retention periods and laws for the province that they practice under.  The SEMRT viewer application allows the user to search for all patient records that meet a criteria set by the custodian - and then selectively purge those records from the database and disk.  Can you imagine searching through the thousands of PDF files that most doctors have when they retire - just to find out when the last time you entered something in a patient's medical record?  The SEMRT viewer makes this a breeze - and reduces a physician's liability by helping them properly purge older medical records to which they no longer have a right to possess.

Ability to Print to PDF / Store Natively: The data in the TimeAcct database is stored in native format - in other words notes are stored as text - and all images are held in their native format in the database or externally on disk.  This is important - as we have concerns that printing an entire patient's medical record to PDF may not meet the legability requirements set out by a physician's college or the CMPA (Canadian Medical Protective Association).  However, TimeAcct acknowledges that there are times when a doctor needs to print a patient chart.  To that end the Extracted Data Viewer allows the user to print a patient chart or part of it to PDF, with various options as to what is included and what format it should be in.

Ability to Search for Text:   The TimeAcct Extracted Data Viewer allows the user to search for text across various parts of the medical record.  For example - you could tell the program to search all chart notes and allergies for the words "Bee Sting" - and get a list of all records containing those words.

Quick & Easy Access to your Medical Records:  The TimeAcct Viewer allows the user to quickly and easily look up a patient's medical record.  They are able to search by Name, Birth Date or Personal Health Number and bring up the complete medical record for review.  This is far better than having to search through boxes of paper records - or directories full of thousands of PDF files.  In the viewer, each part of the medical record is broken down into its own tab for each access.

Software Licensing:  In many cases the original EMR is licensed so that the doctor/clinic has to pay as long as they are using it.  This means that as long as you have the EMR running you have to pay the licensing fees to the vendor.  While some EMR vendors allow the user to continue to use it in a read only mode (or charge for that service) - some do not.  The TimeAcct Extracted Data Viewer removes these problems by providing the doctor/clinic with an application that can search, view and print the EMR data that was extracted out of the Source EMR.  This may mean that you no longer have to continue to run your previous EMR.

Logging of Access:  Any access to the medical records in the SEMRT is logged in the Audit trail as well as logins.  This means any time a patient's data is displayed or printed - there is a record of who accessed it.  Also, when you purge a medical record - the patient who was purged, the logged in user and the date/time are all recorded - as required under Canadian law.

Comprehensive Query/Reporting Engine:   The SEMRT viewer has an enhanced SQL query engine and report designer that is second to none.  You can either enter SQL statements directly or use the MS Access like query builder - and then view the results in a very powerful grid tool.  When you are happy with the results, the report builder can be launched to create professional level reports from the queries resulting data.  These queries & reports can be saved for later reuse.