Medical Records Access and Archival

Interoperability is quickly rising to the top of a large and growing list of priorities that every Provider grapples with.

An essential building block of interoperability is to accurately identify the Patient across multiple EHR’s, Billing systems, and a multitude of ancillary systems such as Lab, Radiology, Oncology, Decision Support, and more.

A few ideas to think about as you wade through this challenge:

• How many unique MPI’s and MR’s exist inside your organization? How are they synchronized? Are processes in place for identifying, managing, and correcting mismatches?

• What is the volume of Charge Errors coming into the Billing system, caused by Patient Identification errors?

• Does your organization have an enterprise-wide set of policies and procedures for registering the right person at time of scheduling or encounter? Are the many ‘what ifs?’ anticipated? Are escalation procedures well known and followed?

• Does the EHR and/or Revenue Cycle software have built-in duplicate medical record checking? Is it driven by an algorithm? Is the algorithm user-defined? [in other words, can various identifiers such as name, sex, DOB, SS#, etc. be weighted in the calculation whether this is in fact a duplicate?]

Do newly hired Registration staff receive thorough training; elbow to elbow and/or formal classroom/CBT?

• How are MR’s initiated? By whom, what process, how is it documented?

• Are duplicate or overlapped MR’s being corrected manually, or through a technology solution? What is the cost today, whether in FTE’s or fees to outside vendors?

• Is there a forward-looking strategy for adopting biometric Patient identification? Eye retina, fingerprint, facial recognition: all of these technologies are rapidly gaining acceptance.

• There are several Firms specializing in MR Clean-ups; consider inviting one in to present their solutions- guaranteed a learning opportunity.

• A few Consulting Firms have a focus on this is work. They will offer services ranging from technology evaluations, enterprise strategies, executing on a MR clean-up project, building subsidiary-system synchronization, on-boarding new facilities and Practices, and documenting/implementing new processes. Consider meeting with them for a different or fresh perspective.

• Watch for web-x’s given by the big names in this space; in less than an hour you’ll probably figure out if your organization has this covered, or, you’ll be motivated to dig deeper!

Look for new and out-of-the box solutions on the way soon [hint: who better to identify a Patient and merge their duplicate MR’s than Google?!]

Conclusion:

Even the longest journey begins with the first step. Consider having a meeting with folks from Medical Records, Billing, Registration, and IT. Encourage a lively conversation to decide if there are next-steps. Heck, do it over lunch and spring for pizza!

Atwater Solutions would be pleased to discuss ways we can help with MPI clean-up services. We are veterans of many of these kinds of projects. Contact us

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