Document Management System for Healthcare Answered

By CIOReview | Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The nexus of all healthcare sectors—physicians, hospitals, billing, and pharmaceuticals are focused onto a single point by electronic healthcare methods like Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Today such electronic methods either have on-premise cloud setup or a remote hybrid cloud infrastructure where tons of patient’s medical data are flowing on a virtual stream. After venturing through lot many data breach cases, CIOs have opted for a secured healthcare solution under the umbrella of Healthcare Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).     

HIPAA bids set of privacy and security policies for safeguarding medical information in the prospect of health plans, tax-related provisions, and health insurance. CIOs need to understand that to fully reap the benefits of an HIPAA compliant system an enterprise must have a proper document control practice. Also, CIOs might question healthcare solution vendor about the lack of document control function in an HIPAA compliant solution. Key to the answer lies within the enterprise itself where data falls in wrong hands. Also, there are acts and laws that have acted in an optimistic model for document management where information can be accessed by anyone. The effects of such optimistic model were recorded by Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a non-profit U.S. organization who guides and assists victims of identity theft. The 2015 reports of ITRC revealed that of the 780 total breaches recorded, 276 breaches were contributed by healthcare sector.

CIOs must clear the air about breaches, as said earlier they can be in-house—in wrong hands and always need not be from an external entity. Under the privacy rules of HIPAA, every employee has a role-play towards securing information or controlling documents. To catapult efficiency in document management strategy, mentioned are some of the tips:

Chisel a best document control strategy: Try implementing a foolproof document management strategy, this will help to drop down workload, and improve the efficiency of employee. To get started CIOs must ink down number of documents and records that will be produced throughout the life-cycle of medical product. Starting from patients’ records to policy documents to audit reports. Even add supplier evaluation records, qualification records and approved supplier list. When done, allocate responsibilities of handling these documents among employees. Design rules and regulations for document keeping—define life-cycle of documents, and place for allocation of documents. Envisage scalability and flexibility capacity for the next five years.

Use electronic methods: When electronic methods are available then why use paper based model. Electronic document management systems have blessed healthcare continuum with loads of advantage. It has curtailed the ascent of confusion which debates among the employees when a data record is misplaced. Electronic methods have been proven to be cost-efficient with improved work efficiency, and better scalability. Further, there is another way to get rid of documentation headache this can be done by deploying document management solutions. There are many document management solution providers. For CIOs choosing the right vendor by probing the right questions will bring-in best outcome for an enterprise.

Follow and maintain document management procedure: It is a thumb rule “Not only deployment, but sustaining the system is equally important.” When document control system is deployed, without failure follow all the procedures regarding documents and records evidence. Remember to evaluate all the records by executing an internal audit. This will help to identify flaws—missing document, and deleted records. A frequent internal audit helps to better maintain and follow all the document management procedures. Internal audits can be performed on a monthly or quarterly basis.

These tips for document control can best enhance work efficiency and mitigate breaches infecting the enterprise. Also as technology is advancing, most of the healthcare leaders are using Radio-frequency identification (RFID) and barcode technology for physical tracking of document and records.