Long-term storage of electronic records

February 1, 2008

With an EHR, doctors no longer have to worry about long-term off-site storage of thousands of paper charts. Is storage as simple as backing up the records onto discs or cartridges and keeping them in a bank vault?

With an EHR, doctors no longer have to worry about long-term off-site storage of thousands of paper charts. Is storage as simple as backing up the records onto discs or cartridges and keeping them in a bank vault?

It could be that easy. But you should store a copy of the EHR software along with the data itself, to make sure the records can be read in the future. Alternatively, you could save the data in PDF format so it can be read without special software.

If you use an application service provider-where your data is stored by the EHR vendor and you access it online-your contract should include terms that insure your data will be available to you when you're ready to make arrangements for long-term storage.