“Where is that health record I requested?” How many times a day does your ROI staff get asked that question? Whether a nationwide health system, a hospital, or a clinic, it’s a lot. Of the thousands or hundreds of record requests a day, each one is critical and time-sensitive to the requestor. ROI should be straightforward, each request fulfilled on time, accurately, and professionally.
If you’re outsourcing ROI services to a vendor, it’s a question that shouldn’t come up, but often does. Why? Usually, it is one or a combination of 3 reasons:
- Inadequate QA and compliance
- Slow turnaround time
- The hassle of switching vendors
ROI isn’t complicated, so does it really have to be so hard? No is the short answer. It’s possible to deliver HIPAA compliant, accurate and timely distribution of medical records without burdening your staff or increasing your budget if you outsource to the right ROI provider.
If you’re switching or choosing an ROI partner, here are seven things to consider:
1. Can the release of information provider scale up or down to handle your volume of requests?
The volume of requests received increases and decreases. There are mergers, closures, HEDIS audits, and the latest challenge of working through a pandemic. The reason matters, but so does your ROI provider’s ability to scale up or down to handle requests. Some outsourced ROI providers experience the same challenges as their healthcare clients do when it comes to recruiting medical records staff. By the time they complete the hiring and training, the backlog damage is done.
ScanSTAT employs a force of trained ROI experts, so our team is ready to meet your volume. Three levels of ROI service ensure you have an option that works for your system or clinic, ranging from having our staff on-site to assist, our staff fulfilling your submitted requests remotely, or our team handling all of your ROI processing.
2. Is the release of information provider’s accuracy rate near 100%?
A requestor asked for John Smith’s record. The vendor released Joe Smith’s instead. John vs. Joe Smith, same-name patients, similar birthdays, releasing more than the minimum necessary, a wrong email address, or requestors going straight to compliance or legal departments. So much can go wrong, and often it does.
Medical records must be retrieved from multiple systems within specified timeframes and records kept on what information was disclosed and to whom. The rules are straightforward yet require proactive quality assurance. However, ROI vendors tend to perform QA after the record is sent and only on 10% of all fulfilled requests. Every record should be reviewed before it’s released, which is why ScanSTAT:
- Has experts scrutinize information to find the correct data points for each request
- QAs every record before sending
- Has audit processes that result in a 99.9998% accuracy rate
- Takes responsibility for compliance
3. Is the ROI vendor’s turnaround schedule timely?
The importance of turnaround time cannot be underestimated. For example, one of the largest not-for-profit healthcare systems in America was being bombarded with complaints. Their ROI vendor couldn’t keep up with the volume of requests. Even though their state mandates a 15-day turnaround time, it was taking their ROI provider three months to release a record.
However, after outsourcing to ScanSTAT, they:
- Caught up on that three-month backlog within 30 days
- Are now turning around requests in three days, well below the industry standard for an organization of their size
- No longer field requester complaints
ScanSTAT processes requests within 24-48 hours of receipt and inbound document management tasks are handled same day.
4. Is the provider’s release of information reporting readily available and transparent?
ROI reporting should be readily available and fully transparent, otherwise the provider is working essentially behind closed doors. With ScanSTAT’s online ROI reporting dashboard in STATus-View, you have complete visibility of:
- Exactly what’s done with a request, what’s sent with that request, and when it goes out the door
- Productivity broken down by location and staff member
- Every invoice generated, every invoice collected, and the flexibility to aggregate reports daily, weekly, or monthly
5. What is the transition and/or onboarding process like?
We all keep services that don’t live up to our expectations simply because it’s a pain to switch to another provider or onboarding one seems like more of a hassle than continuing to keep the service in-house. And, we’ve all experienced apathetic service once we’re well into a years-long contract.
ScanSTAT ensures the implementation process goes smoothly. Here’s why:
- Our systems are web-based, so all we need from you is internet access – no integrations or interfering with your IT system
- We’ve already done the hard work of testing it so you can be operational from day one of going live
- Our team has experience working with healthcare organizations of all sizes, so we know what it takes to get yours up and running quickly
6. Does the release of information provider’s culture align with your own?
Patient care and lives depend on quality ROI service. But, the reality is that everyone is overstretched and many departments are understaffed, so filing quickly gets backlogged, documents get put in the wrong places, quality suffers, and a seemingly simple process can turn into endless complications.
Your outsourced ROI provider should be committed to overcoming your challenges, as well as understand that there is a person behind every request. ScanSTAT’s culture is based on making health information management easier for everyone and “practicing what we preach,” such as:
- Calling if more information is needed to ensure the details get sorted out quickly
- Fielding requests six days a week
- Not requiring prepayments from patients
- Offering electronic, CD, fax or direct mail delivery options
- Scaling on short notice to meet demand
7. Are additional services available as needed?
Practice growth, hospital expansions, employee attrition and more can create an urgent need for additional services beyond the scope of traditional ROI. Rather than search for another provider for additional outsourced services, it’s far easier to rely on the one already in place versus starting from scratch with a new one.
ScanSTAT has a dedicated, HIPAA-certified team focused solely on health information management. Turnaround time for inbound document management tasks is same day and can be further customized based on urgent needs or tackling a backlog.
We develop a precise statement of work and customize our inbound document management workflows and internal audit procedures for unparalleled accuracy by carefully:
- Reviewing all incoming document types
- Checking every page of the document to verify each one is for the correct patient
- Separating reports into individual files if necessary
- Selecting the correct chart and checking for multiple identifiers
- Choosing the right folder in a patient’s chart based on the type of document
Every healthcare entity has a unique set of needs. That’s why in addition to our health information management and medical record workflow services, ScanSTAT has professional services to meet the needs of your company’s processes, internal systems, and business growth goals, whether it’s release of information, inbound document management, EHR conversion, or an entire suite of additional HIM services.
Ready to get started? Schedule a demo. We’ll give you an overview of our Release of Information services and listen to your goals for ROI. From there, it’s a matter of choosing or customizing a model that fits your ROI volume, your medical records staff, and budget. With ScanSTAT, health information management is easier for everyone.