Paper Or Electronic? Why I'm Grieving My Paper Files

Back to WorkCall me a bad therapist. It wouldn't be the first time. But I write my case notes during sessions. It's not "writing" really. It's more like "jotting" a few important things down as I go. I sign and date the note at the end of the session and I'm done. Call me crazy, but I like to complete all work, notes, letter writing on behalf of the client during the session. I have resistance to adding and hour or so at the end of my day for case notes.

If you haven't been able to tell from past posts, I tend to be an early adopter when it comes to technology. I had a therapy website in the early 2000's. I've been on Facebook and Twitter for 4 years (which is a long time for the over 40 crowd). I love my iPhone and iPad. I developed an app. But, I haven't yet transition to electronic notes and health records, until now.

Starting today my therapy clinic is finally transitioning to an electronic records and practice management system. After a lot of research we decided to go with Care Paths.

For practical reasons it's a good move for us. Having opened a second location last Fall, it makes sense to use a web-based practice management and records system to have all records in one place, online.  I love that clients will be able to log in, fill out initial paperwork, print their own statements and forms to submit to insurance for reimbursement, or to check their appointment times. I like that we'll be able to sign notes electronically. Supervisors will be able to review and sign supervisee's notes online. I'm thrilled that we'll easily be able to fulfill request for records. As a director, I'm glad that I'll be able to easily audit case notes, outcomes reports, and files. It makes sense.

Yes, this is a good move but I am going to miss being done with my notes at the end of each session. I'm going to miss my own   handwritten visual reminders on case notes - my little arrows and stars highlighting something important. My handwritten signature will no longer matter. There are some things that you give up when you trade paper for electronic and I'm sad about that.

Do you still use paper files or have you transitioned to digital notes? Which program do you use and why? I'd love to hear your comments below.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Cokul