Re: How Many

Joyce Weems, Pathology Manager, Saint Joseph's Hospital of Atlanta asks:

>>How many of you keep paper copies of your pathology reports - forever?<<

Speaking purely as a "consumer" of old pathology records, I think they should 
be kept forever, since I fairly often have recourse to quite old ones - 
patients do live a long time. I don't think it's practical to keep the paper 
records, and I think they should be put on microfilm - or better microfiche - 
after a few years. 

What I don't understand is whether these old film media are still available, 
and whether it can get done right - that is, every record readable. - Right 
now we're in a transitional period where the price of filming old records 
onto digital media (CD-ROM's and such) is falling very rapidly, and it will 
soon meet the price of microfilming. I distrust the permanence, both physical 
and computational, of the new digital media. Microfilm is practically 
indestructible, and there'll always be a way to read it.

Bob Richmond
Samurai Pathologist
Knoxville TN

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