What to do about those scanned images and medical records

by • September 1, 2008 • UncategorizedComments Off on What to do about those scanned images and medical records1593

© 2008 The Medical-Legal News
By Paul Martino


With more information arriving in electronic form, an office is challenged to manage these documents.
Suppose you just received a CD full of records and documents along with a helpful note saying they are in PDF format. You open one of the documents and find you cannot copy and paste or add any annotation to the document.
What to do? Grab a pad and pen, jot down the document name and make some notes? How about printing it? That destroys the whole advantage of electronic records in the first place, right?
Take heart! You may already own a tool to help you deal with this. Microsoft Office® 2003 or later has a tool called Microsoft Office Document Imaging. It does not install automatically, so you many need to load it.
What will this tool do? First, it will import any document you can print. Just click “import” and browse to the document. The import process may take a while because it does two things: It creates an image you can view and it also recognizes the text using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Poor quality of the image will lead to poor OCR. Hand written documents will be a challenge.
Once this is done, select a section of the document and copy the text or image. If you select the text, you then paste it into any Windows® document or program that accepts text. Remember that signature you could not decipher? Copy the image and paste it right into your report!
You annotate the image using the highlighter or pen tool, add a text box for your comments and rotate a page if you need to. The annotations can be viewed or hidden — not a bad little tool that you already have!
Should you decide to use this tool, consider using a dual monitor system. See The Medical-Legal News’ May/June issue for details. •

Paul Martino has a masters in mathematical statistics and is the founder of Legal Nurse Systems, LLC, based in Chardon, Ohio,www.legalnursesystems.com.

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