28 April 2009
Q. If I scan medical history forms, consent forms, lab docs in an attempt to reduce the volume of our paper records am I obliged retain the original paper documents or will the scanned copies suffice?
It is not a legal requirement that you retain the original paper documents having scanned these and saved them on your computer. However, it is essential to ensure that there are sufficient safeguards and controls in operation to protect these records once saved. Regular back-ups should be made and stored securely. There would be no defence in law that your computer broke down or that you had lost your data for whatever reason and the responsibility lies with yourself to ensure that you are always able to produce the records.
Dental Protection's Risk Management module entitled Clinical records offers further information on this subject. Click here to download it without charge from the risk management section of the website.