Switching from paper documentation
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I am switching from paper to electronic but can't find any help pages regarding best practices. Any help? Can/Should I scan old files?

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    Gillian

    Hi Mindy, I'll let your colleagues weigh in as well, but it's important to keep in mind the record retention laws in your area. Some of our customers choose to scan in, store, and destroy old paper records, whereas others may choose to keep a filing cabinet with their records from prior to SimplePractice. The most secure option would be to store these records electronically in the cloud with SimplePractice. 

    Hi Mindy, I'll let your colleagues weigh in as well, but it's important to keep in mind the record retention laws in your area. Some of our customers choose to scan in, store, and destroy old paper records, whereas others may choose to keep a filing cabinet with their records from prior to SimplePractice. The most secure option would be to store these records electronically in the cloud with SimplePractice. 

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    Ashley Gunn

    I am in this exact process and it's a little painful! I am doing a lot of double work to ensure that I have a small cross-over between the paper files and that it's clear when I switch a client into SP. It's frustrating because sometimes I need old paperwork that I have stopped carrying around, but I haven't added to SP. For me, I plan move forward with all my new clients 100% electronic, but I will keep and retain my paper files for the 7 years required in AZ. I created SP files for all my current client and have been adding documentation as I need it, trying mostly to be in the system. After awhile, I assume I will need the old paper ones less, as my storage of notes gets larger. Right now, I have about 3 weeks of electronic notes and I have already seen a difference in how much I have to reference the old file. 

    It's also frustrating for me that I take handwritten notes in session and I don't have a great way to get those in the system. Currently, I am playing around with a single page note template that I made in office word. I do my notes as normal all week, and then I batch scan them to my computer and then upload/save them as attachments to my SP files. I created a custom handwritten note in SP that is very simple to complete (a few radio button selections and any major insights I want to note). When I save the SP note, it locks with my e-signature and my handwritten/scanned attachment already has all the data it needs (name, date, CPT code/minutes, etc) with a pen signature. This is a little time consuming, but it's easier and faster than trying to do all my notes outside of session. I would say that it take me about 30-45 minutes to do this for 25 notes, at the end of each week. If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them! 

    I am in this exact process and it's a little painful! I am doing a lot of double work to ensure that I have a small cross-over between the paper files and that it's clear when I switch a client into SP. It's frustrating because sometimes I need old paperwork that I have stopped carrying around, but I haven't added to SP. For me, I plan move forward with all my new clients 100% electronic, but I will keep and retain my paper files for the 7 years required in AZ. I created SP files for all my current client and have been adding documentation as I need it, trying mostly to be in the system. After awhile, I assume I will need the old paper ones less, as my storage of notes gets larger. Right now, I have about 3 weeks of electronic notes and I have already seen a difference in how much I have to reference the old file. 

    It's also frustrating for me that I take handwritten notes in session and I don't have a great way to get those in the system. Currently, I am playing around with a single page note template that I made in office word. I do my notes as normal all week, and then I batch scan them to my computer and then upload/save them as attachments to my SP files. I created a custom handwritten note in SP that is very simple to complete (a few radio button selections and any major insights I want to note). When I save the SP note, it locks with my e-signature and my handwritten/scanned attachment already has all the data it needs (name, date, CPT code/minutes, etc) with a pen signature. This is a little time consuming, but it's easier and faster than trying to do all my notes outside of session. I would say that it take me about 30-45 minutes to do this for 25 notes, at the end of each week. If you have any other ideas, I would love to hear them! 

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    Kathy Harting

    Ashley, I like the system you describe. I'm trialing SP right now. I'm wondering if I could batch scan them to the cloud in general, having a file for each client there, and not have to put them in SP at all. What r the advantages to having SP in this regard? I imagine there r security options in the cloud? I'm new to some of the tech stuff. I've been over in the billing section and am not sure I want to switch to SP given what I'm reading over there.

    Ashley, I like the system you describe. I'm trialing SP right now. I'm wondering if I could batch scan them to the cloud in general, having a file for each client there, and not have to put them in SP at all. What r the advantages to having SP in this regard? I imagine there r security options in the cloud? I'm new to some of the tech stuff. I've been over in the billing section and am not sure I want to switch to SP given what I'm reading over there.

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    Lena Sheffield

    Would be good to have more input on this. 

     

    Would be good to have more input on this. 

     

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    Gillian

    Hi everyone! I'd like to jump in with some clarification about security. Cloud storage is not necessarily HIPAA compliant. Storing paper files also has drawbacks, as paper files can be compromised (i.e. in the event of a natural disaster, or even a coffee spill!) SimplePractice's storage is fully encrypted end-to-end - you can read more about the security of SimplePractice here: https://www.simplepractice.com/security/

    We highly recommend storing your records in SimplePractice instead of in an outside, less secure cloud storage platform or a filing cabinet. 

    Hi everyone! I'd like to jump in with some clarification about security. Cloud storage is not necessarily HIPAA compliant. Storing paper files also has drawbacks, as paper files can be compromised (i.e. in the event of a natural disaster, or even a coffee spill!) SimplePractice's storage is fully encrypted end-to-end - you can read more about the security of SimplePractice here: https://www.simplepractice.com/security/

    We highly recommend storing your records in SimplePractice instead of in an outside, less secure cloud storage platform or a filing cabinet. 

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    Renee Roth Powers

    I would like to know what happens to all my patient files should I use SimplePractice for a few years then decide to discontinue? How do I collect and move those files, are they the deleted by SimplePractice or do they remain in the encrypted storage for ever? On that note what happens if Simple Practice is bought or disappears?

    I would like to know what happens to all my patient files should I use SimplePractice for a few years then decide to discontinue? How do I collect and move those files, are they the deleted by SimplePractice or do they remain in the encrypted storage for ever? On that note what happens if Simple Practice is bought or disappears?

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    Lena Sheffield

    I also created my own template for progress notes which has made it easier to use SP for notes and like others I have lots of paper files, intakes, release forms, screening tools client's have filled out, copies of psychoeducational materials I have given clients, etc that are not in SP.  Little by little scanning some documents for newer clients. 

    I have learned enough about the client portal so I'm still doing paper intake forms with clients and keeping paper files.  Hopefully I can start 2020 with all paper. 

    The question that caught my attention is what happens to these documents if we stop using SP or SP goes out of business, etc.?  

    On facebook there are clinicians who switched from SP to something else or nothing. Maybe we should ask them how easy it was to access their documents? 

     

    I also created my own template for progress notes which has made it easier to use SP for notes and like others I have lots of paper files, intakes, release forms, screening tools client's have filled out, copies of psychoeducational materials I have given clients, etc that are not in SP.  Little by little scanning some documents for newer clients. 

    I have learned enough about the client portal so I'm still doing paper intake forms with clients and keeping paper files.  Hopefully I can start 2020 with all paper. 

    The question that caught my attention is what happens to these documents if we stop using SP or SP goes out of business, etc.?  

    On facebook there are clinicians who switched from SP to something else or nothing. Maybe we should ask them how easy it was to access their documents? 

     

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    Gillian

    Hi Renee and Lena, I'd be happy to help with your questions. When you cancel your SimplePractice subscription, your data is securely wiped off your servers - which is why we allow you to export your data securely at any time under My Account > Settings > Data Export. If you choose to close your practice, for example, you'd just need to export your data for your records before closing your SimplePractice account. 

    Hi Renee and Lena, I'd be happy to help with your questions. When you cancel your SimplePractice subscription, your data is securely wiped off your servers - which is why we allow you to export your data securely at any time under My Account > Settings > Data Export. If you choose to close your practice, for example, you'd just need to export your data for your records before closing your SimplePractice account.