But the electronic versions can be equally unwieldy; some systems produce huge files, she says. When considering various technologies, consider how easy it will be to save the data in the systems on a CD or DVD, for example.
And be sure to talk to vendors about how their technologies will interface with those you already have in place. Many providers will adopt different specialized systems for different areas of the hospital. This isn't necessarily bad, Fernandez says, because the technologies are designed to do different things. But at the same time, you don't want staff members to have to sign on to five separate systems to view information on a patient.
You'll probably need to push systems into working together for information to be available in this way, she says. Do yourself a favor and consider upfront whether technologies will be able to talk to each other.
"The idea that clinicians can view something in a single system might not sound like such a big deal, but it is," Fernandez says. "You want it to seem to the end user that you have only one system instead of a dozen."