Fully Integrated Document Management Solutions

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A healthcare network comprised of three of the largest teaching hospitals in Québec


An immense amount of patient records coupled with a health system implementation delays the transition to EMR.


Iron Mountain® Offsite and Onsite Document Management Solutions and EMR Enablement


  • Realize true information governance
  • Easily access physical and electronic patient records
  • Improve management of patient information
  • Reduce costs and enhance workflow efficiencies
  • 45,000,000 images converted to date

A healthcare network located in Québec City, comprised of three of the largest teaching hospitals in Québec, aligned to an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) transition as they had shared goals of improving patient care through digital access to patient records while addressing workforce and cost reduction objectives.

Collectively, they realized the one-time back-file patient record conversion would be massive, and although the intent was to run their own day-forward operation, they did not have the experience or expertise to set it up. Additionally, they were running out of physical storage space for their paper records across their entire network. They needed to effectively manage their physical patient records and successfully transition them to a digital state. But how?


With the help of Iron Mountain, the network was able to address the situation through a workflow optimization analysis to determine when and why a patient record should be digitized. The selected program not only established both offsite and onsite EMR conversion centers but also laid the groundwork for network-wide information governance.

The first step in addressing information governance and their EMR initiative was to establish policies to manage processes for the storage, retention and disposition of medical records. Once those policies were in place, the network built a multidisciplinary steering committee to provide direction, oversight and leadership to promote organizational unity. The steering committee was chiefly responsible for developing the network’s imaging strategy. To do this, it needed to identify and understand the process by which health information was created, received and preserved for regulatory compliance purposes.

The network agreed upon a new patient appointment as the trigger event to digitize, which then prompted each hospital to pull patient files and prepare them for digitization in accordance with medical archival best practices. These files were picked up by Iron Mountain and transported to a secure offsite facility for back-file conversion. Once digitized, the resulting image, index and reconciliation information was uploaded for ingestion into the hospital’s EMR system. This process was completed within 48 hours. For day-forward conversion, all paper patient records generated in the hospitals were scanned and added to the EMR through an onsite imaging center which was set up as part of the complete Iron Mountain solution.

Finally, the steering committee, driven by the network’s senior leadership, clearly communicated the objectives and end-game benefits of this entire process to its constituents. It reinforced that the transition to an EMR is a priority — not just because it’s mandated, but because there are tangible benefits to be gained by both the patient and the healthcare network alike.


By leveraging Iron Mountain’s knowledge and expertise, the healthcare network has been able to balance paper and digital records to develop a holistic document management solution that can be executed against a well-defined eHealth record strategy with distinct governance oversight.

The healthcare network has proven that the key to successful EMR transition is a comprehensive approach to document management. By winding down its paper processes and developing an information governance strategy, the healthcare network has been able to increase patient throughput, shorten revenue cycles, improve operational efficiencies that drive value to the health system and, most importantly, improve patient care