Adopt a “Patients-First” Commitment in Release Of Information.
Whether you manage your own Release of Information or outsource to an independent firm, it is imperative to adopt a patients-first commitment. But how can you control the patient experience when you outsource part, or all, of the health information exchange to an independent ROI company? Look for evidence that the following five elements are weaved into the services.
The five best ways to eliminate patient complaints in the medical records department.
- 24-hour turnaround on all medical record requests. When patients request their medical records, they often don’t understand that they cannot be provided immediately, especially since they’re accustomed to often watching their doctors spend more time typing notes into the EMR system than treating them during exams. While other 3rd party requesters often don’t need the records as expeditiously, patients expect it and they’re quick to voice concern if there is a delay. Look for an ROI firm that is committed to processing requests within 24 hours of receipt.
- No rejection letters. Balancing HIPAA compliance with patient expectations is a challenge. Best-practice procedures insist that the medical record request form be complete and verified. And if it’s not, then it must be rejected. While it takes a few extra minutes, why not adopt a policy of calling the patient to acquire the incomplete information?
- No prepayment required. Most states and HIPAA regulate what you can charge for a medical record copy. It’s common for healthcare providers to offer the first 10 pages at no fee to the patient. But in cases where there could be hundreds of pages, charging a nominal fee for the record is acceptable. Requiring pre-payment, however, is best avoided.
- 100% quality assurance guaranteed and HIPAA/HITECH compliant. Securing patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI) requires innovative and secure technology used in concert with a verifiable set of quality assurance procedures. All record providers should be using encryption, have SSL certificates and document a robust patient password verification process.
- Dedicated service team for patients only. Patients need a bit more handholding during the medical record request process. It’s just not something that most patients do often. Having a dedicated, on-site service team, a toll-free number and Saturday service hours ensures that patients speak with someone who can walk them through the process with empathy and confidence.
ROI firms have traditionally prioritized technology and profit.
It’s critical to share responsibility for patient confidentiality and information security with healthcare providers. But treating patients with white-glove service during an episode in life that may be frightening can only lead to higher satisfaction and increased confidence in your provider community.
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