Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

Archive for August 17th, 2010

Cleaning the Office

Posted by Dr. Vollmer on August 17, 2010

     Seven years from the last visit, the time charts have to be stored, except when it is a child, in which case it is seven years after the client turns eighteen. So, chart thinning is a yearly ritual. New psychiatry  graduates have a different plan. Many are paperless. There are no charts; patient information is digital. This means no file cabinet. All papers are scanned into an electric file; then the paper is shredded. Back-ups are digital as well. Space requirements go way down. Security issues change. Whereas I worry about a fire, my newly minted colleagues need to be concerned about an electromagnetic pulse which can wipe out electronic data. I peruse old files, looking through pictures, hand-drawn,  as well as photographs. I touch them. I turn them over. I feel nostalgia, remembering when a patient handed me something they wanted me to keep. I am no technophobe, but I  appreciate touching documents; turning pages stimulates reverie. Maybe sitting at my computer, reviewing old files would do the same thing, but I don’t think so. There is something nice, almost sweet, about holding a paper, seeing the writing, in assorted colors, pop out, as I sort through old charts. I embrace the digital age, but not for everything.

Posted in Musings, Office Management | 4 Comments »

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