faq content


  • Am I able to access to my records 24 hours a day?

    We have staff available on call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please contact our offices toll free at 1-800-775-0093 for immediate assistance. 

  • Why should I store my documents with Records Management, rather than in a self-storage facility?

    There are many advantages to storing your business critical documents with Records Management. First, you avoid the inconvenience of having to send a staff member to a storage shed to retrieve your files (Records Management offers secure delivery and retrieval services), which can interfere with their normal daily duties. Second, all of the boxes that are stored at Records Management are bar-coded, tracked, and catalogued in our secure online system. When you store your documents at one of Records Management facilities, you can rest assured knowing your highly sensitive materials are safe and easy to access.

  • Do you have a schedule for regular retrieval services?

    Yes, we do. All our clients are provided with Schedule and Fees for Regular, Rush, 3-hour Rush and Express Retrieval Services sheet.

  • What types of businesses use your secure storage facility?

    Large and small businesses utilize our secure document storage facility and records management system. These include medical professionals, legal offices, accounting firms, school boards, aids societies, and banks. There is no special type of business that is required to use our service; our facilities are designed to provide any business with a safe and secure environment to store and manage their data more effectively. 

  • Where is your secure storage facility located?

    The Records Management secure storage facility is located at 1 High Meadow Place, Toronto, Ontario.


  • What is a document scanning?

    Document scanning is the process by which files are sorted, prepared and digitalized onto a state of the art server system accessible to only members of their respective organizations. Conversion of all types of physical records to digital information through the scanning process creates digital pictures of the records. These records can be retrieved, shared, secured and printed as needed.

  • Is document scanning cost effective?

    The cost saving benefits associated with the scanning of physical records is driven to the bottom line. The costs incurred by organizations when their personnel spend hours searching for physical documents can be quelled with digitization services. Through scanning, businesses can save significant funds often used for print and copy required utilities. Documents and records will no longer be lost.

    The scanning process performed by Records Management allows for organized digital storage that can be easily referenced and located by personnel. Security programming can ensure safekeeping from any theft attempts. The possibility of costly consequences when companies choose not to back up their records can soar. Scanning of records is a reasonable and economically viable option to undertake when looking for organized solutions. It is a significant long-term investment.

  • How can Records Management ensure nothing but benefits?

    Records Management improves access to information by creating digital files with the appropriate level of metadata to suit the application and to greatly reduce the risk of the file deterioration of its clients. Records Management’s clients benefit from the implementation of a document digitization program. Responses to users are faster. Statistical compilation, research and reference are all processes whose required time is now at a fraction of what it used to be. Among other benefits, the results of pairing with Records Management are: experiencing greater efficiency, the saving of time and money and optimizing your office space by ridding it of excess document materials.

Medical Practice Closure

  • Why Records Management Ltd?

    Our scanning and storage facility is fully secured, climate-controlled, insured with video surveillance. We meet all the guidelines set forth by the RHPA, CPSO, OMA and PIPEDA regarding patient record retention and privacy policies. We ensure that continuity of patient care is not compromised.

  • What services do you provide?

    Our services include preparation of your files for storage (we provide free boxes and help your assistants), patient notification mailing, pick-up and delivery to our full service facility as well as transfer of copies when patient’s files are requested. Our staff is bondable and fully trained in all aspects of confidentiality and professional ethics regarding medical records.

  • How do you determine my active patients?

    For purpose of comprehensibility, we are approaching the subject of ACTIVE and CURRENT records separately.

    ACTIVE RECORDS are defined as these records belonging to patients who were last seen in the last 2 years of practice. This includes the earlier portions of their records which may be in a box stored away.
    CURRENT RECORDS are defined as the records belonging to patients who were last seen 3 or more years ago.

  • What if I have files of patients not seen for more than 10 years?

    It is recommended that all patient records pertaining to patients not seen for more than 10 years be shredded prior to storage. This will reduce storage fees.

  • How will RECORDS MANAGEMENT notify my patients?

    We will set a timeline with you to ensure proper notification to patients. In cases where a notification letter is required, we will provide a template which you can personalize before we mail it out on your behalf on your letterhead. Once you agree with the content of the letter that is most relevant to your particular situation, we will take some extra steps. If translation on other language is needed for the notification letter, as your practice was of specific community, we will help. Once you sign the letter, copies will be mailed individually to every active patient. We will help you to determine who your “active” patients are, collect their demographic information from your OHIP billing system (where possible) and ensure that they receive a professional communication piece regarding your pending office closure. We will also supply your office with a pad with instructions for the patients regarding their records. 

  • Will Records Management supply boxes, and on what cost?

    Boxes can be shipped or delivered to your office at the appropriate preparation time (if required). For physicians who close practices, boxes are free of charge.

  • How will Records Management pick-up and ship records?

    At the agreed upon date and time, Records Management Ltd will arrange own transportation to arrive at your door to load the truck and deliver your records to our secured facility.

  • How will Records Management provide secured storage and scan my charts?

    Records Management Ltd will ensure your patient records are properly and compliantly stored and managed for the required term. We act as your legal custodians.

  • What will happen with late incoming hospital letters, referral reports, other letters, consults, labs, etc.?

    Records Management Ltd will file all late incoming record materials for a period of 60 days after receipt of the records at no charge to you. Please, give proper notice to all specialists, labs and companies you are referring patients to, in terms to make sure we receive everything 60 days after your closure.

  • How Records Management will assist with patient referral services?

    Where possible, Records Management Ltd will assist patients in finding a doctor in their area who is taking on new patients.

  • How will Records Management help with Medical equipment disposition?

    Upon request, Records Management Ltd will assist in donating to community clinics your medical equipment.

  • How will Records Management facilitate transfers of charts?

    Records Management Ltd responds to patient record inquiries from:

    • Patients
    • Doctors
    • Insurance companies
    • Other authorized 3rd parties

    All record copy requests are facilitated by Records Management Ltd with integrity, professionalism and sensitivity to patients. We will do nothing to compromise the reputation that you have built in your community. 

  • What else I should know about Records Management‘s services?
    • RELEASE FORM:  A requesting patient must sign a release form, which we provide if they do not present one, before a copy (only a copy) can be transferred.
    • PROGRESS NOTES: Although we typically include physician “progress notes” with each transfer, as per your request these might be not to included if you specifically asked for.
    • RECORD COPIES:  The record copy may be requested as:
      • scanned copy which can be downloaded via our secure site
      • a scanned copy in PDF format on a CD
      • a paper copy mailed to the requestor
    • FEES: While the patient or authorized 3rd party requestor is billed in accordance with the guideline rate for this uninsured service, it is usually billed at well below the guideline rate. The authorized requestor will never be billed prohibitively, nor will Records Management Ltd ever withhold a record from transfer once authorized, regardless of whether payment is made or not. 

Scanning of medical files

  • Do I need to scan the entire chart?

    Some practices choose to scan only certain sections, but you may be forced to keep the paper if you don't scan the entire chart.

  • Do I need to scan all my existing charts?

    Different practices have different needs. In many cases, we recommend that only charts for patients that have visited in the last 12-18 months be scanned. In some specialty practices like Paediatrics, charts may need to be kept for up to 28 years. The cost of storage for that length of time will exceed the cost of scanning the charts. Our consultative process includes an assessment of which charts should be scanned and which might be better serviced by a secure document storage company.

    If you have older charts and the patient hasn't visited in a long time, those charts may not be worth scanning. You'll want to make sure you have a mechanism in place for destroying old charts once they meet their retention requirements. Keeping the paper chart exposes you to liability in the event of litigation if you have kept records that could have been destroyed once they met their legally mandated retention requirement. All records that you have, whether they are paper or electronic, are discoverable in the event of a lawsuit. It can be challenging to manage records retention if you have more than one repository. 

  • Why don't we just hire some temps to scan our charts?

    Practices tend to look at three things when they make this decision. The cost of a scanner, it's rated throughput, and the "low cost" of temporary (or family member) labour. The labour costs of prepping the charts (taking out paper clips, staples, etc.), indexing the charts, and quality control are often not factored into cost estimates for in-house scanning. These items combined typically cost 2-4 times as much as the actual scanning.

    Perhaps you already have a scanner or a digital copier that can scan. Records Management will use equipment that can capture 5 or 6 times as many pages per minute as most copiers or office scanners, greatly reducing the labour cost per image. If you use a digital copier, you will have people "fighting" over the resource and the person doing the scanning will be frequently interrupted, decreasing efficiency and increasing the chance of mistakes.

    Often, the same person doing the scanning is also removing paper clips, staples, etc. to get the charts ready for scanning and then indexing the charts after they have been scanned. The net result is that the scanner is often sitting idle and the actual throughput is about 20-30 percent of the scanner's rated speed. The project you thought would take 4 or 5 months ends up taking two years! Since the same person is often doing all the work, the chance for mistakes increases exponentially.

    Records Management has different personnel working on each step of a tightly controlled and carefully designed custom workflow process so that work is always being cross checked. Records Management also has an independent quality control step built into our workflow to ensure all pages were scanned and legible.

    Records Management has a team dedicated to your project allowing it to be completed in weeks, instead of months or years.

    As an experienced and trusted scanning service provider, Records Management utilizes high end production scanners, state of the art workflow management tools, and has developed processes over the time that result in a highly efficient quality driven process. While scanning seems relatively simple, there is a big learning curve and it just doesn't make sense to try to re-invent the wheel.

    Records Management utilizes advanced technology that allows us to automatically separate the charts using the same tab methodology you use in your paper charts and we utilize existing patient demographic info to automate the indexing process, provide more search information, and improve accuracy. Charts scanned by an experienced scanning company like Records Management will be easier to use, accurate, and all images will be legible.

  • What about patient confidentiality?

    We ensure PHIPA compliance through a combination of personal accountability and physical security. All employees must undergo criminal and credit background checks prior to employment and execute confidentiality agreements as a condition of employment. We utilize an independent auditor that performs an annual PHIPA compliance review. We execute Confidentiality agreements with all customers and carry a high amount of liability insurance. Our scanning facilities are secure locations that are locked 24/7 and under 24/7 internal video surveillance. All employee work activity is tracked to the file level for every project.

  • What if we need a chart while you're working on it?

    We utilize a secure e-mail solution (Encrypt) that allows us to e-mail a scanned chart to you if you need it while we have it at our scanning center. We can also provide encrypted FTP access. We work with clients to schedule the project so that only a small portion of your charts are in our facility at any one time.

  • Do we have to scan them all at once?

    Some practices prefer to spread out the scanning expense and we will work with you if you need to spread your budget over a period of time. Some practices send us their charts once a week after patients have visited. Others send us charts for the patients they have scheduled for the upcoming week so that they are available in the EMR when the patient visits. Both of these options ensure that you're only scanning charts for active patients. We've also had practices that send a pre-determined number of boxes each week to spread out the investment.

    When preparing for an EMR migration, many practices perform a pack and purge each year. Instead of sending the oldest year of Medical Records to an offsite storage facility the records are scanned and held in an online archive until the go live date for the EMR implementation.

  • Do you work directly with EMR providers?

    A number of EMR providers recommend our services to their customers because they know we do quality work and have the technical expertise to format the scanned charts correctly to make them available in their EMR. We actively partner with the EMR providers and understand how their solutions work.

  • What else should I take into consideration?

    Clients often wrestle with the issue of whether to scan the entire chart or not. If you think you don't need to scan the entire chart, ask yourself a few questions. Will the time spent weeding out pages end up costing the same or more than simply scanning those pages? Am I putting patient care at risk by not having all the pertinent information I need? Am I exposing myself to liability by keeping records that could be purged? What will my storage costs be? Can I put the space occupied with charts to other use as an exam room or the home of a new piece of diagnostic equipment that will generate revenue?

  • My practice is moving to an EMR, what should I do?

    You will need to choose between one (or a combination of several) of the following options:

     Continue to store them in your existing on-site chart room

    Scan them and attach them to the electronic patient record in the new EMR

    Scan them and store the images in a repository that is separate from the EMR

    Store them off-site at a business records storage facility

    Store them off-site in self storage space

  • Why should I scan my charts?

    The main reason to scan your charts is to improve patient care and reduce liability by making them easily accessible to your physicians and staff.

    If you don't scan your charts, you'll be forced to manage two systems - one that is electronic and one that is paper based - a "hybrid" system. Managing both systems can be frustrating, inefficient, and potentially result in poor patient care. A hybrid system usually results in slower adoption of the EMR and it's not uncommon to see physicians in an exam room with a tablet PC and the paper chart.

    When you receive release of information requests you can provide the information faster, cheaper, and more securely than retrieving and copying or scanning paper files and mailing or faxing them. You can also turn the release of information request into a revenue generating opportunity.

    You'll have a large portion of your office space consumed by files and all of the labour costs associated with managing those files. Wouldn't it be better to convert that space into another exam room or use it for some other revenue generating activity?

    Off-site storage may appear to be inexpensive, but if you have to keep your records for an extended period of time (paediatrics, women's health, urology, etc.) storage charges can greatly exceed the cost of scanning charts, especially if there is a high level of retrieval of charts from off-site storage. Storing charts in a self-storage unit could be a potential PHIPA violation. Self-storage units are often targeted by thieves, putting patient information at risk.

  • Once my charts are scanned, do I need to keep the paper chart?

    In most instances, you can destroy the paper as long as you have scanned the entire chart. We advise that you consult a trained legal professional to ensure compliance with all laws and regulations pertaining to your specific practice.