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Strategies for Medical Records Management in Business

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Managing medical records can be an overwhelming task for any medical record technician, more so during usually busy times caused by a pandemic. However, developing strategies for medical records management will make this task less taxing and help create a better records retention policy for your organization.

Just like in any business required to keep customer data safe, the medical practice requires a records management system that keeps patient files in a state of motion throughout their lifecycle, all the way to dissolving or disposing of a record.

If you are currently working as a medical records technician, take notes! These strategies are some of the best-kept secrets to help you manage your records better and more efficiently.

1. Establish A Medical Records Management System

Establishing a management system that is easy to maintain and organize is essential. This system is crucial for protecting both patients and doctors. Mistakes can be made without a manageable medical records system, and malpractice can happen.

As a medical records technician, staying on top of the latest medical records management trends and adopting similar strategies you will see below is essential.

A successful system means a successful practice.

2. EMR Versus EHR

There are two types of medical records to keep track of the Electronic Medical Record, EMR, and the Electronic Health Record, EHR.

These two records are each important to keep track of for patients. The EMR is a statement that stays with the doctor’s office, while the EHR can be used across the entire health organization.

3. Know the Records Management Lifecycle

The medical records management system follows a lifecycle for every medical record technician to use to help with medical records management.

This records management lifecycle outlines all the policies each document has in place at each stage of a document’s life.’

At each stage of a medical record,  from the creation of the medical history to the formal disposal of a document, it is a part of medical records management to determine if the medical history should remain moving through the lifecycle or be disposed of.

4. Create a Medical Record Retention Policy

Creating a medical record retention policy is extremely important. Without this policy, managing medical records can become overwhelming and lead to disorganization or your system.

You can create your own policy by:

  • Deciding how much longer than HIPAA requirements you will keep medical records

This can help your medical records management system in helping you figure out how many years to keep a medical record and how to properly dispose of one.

  • Creating an archive policy

If you wish to keep your medical records for extended periods, it may help to set up an archive policy and system. This will help keep any older records together and prevent them from getting mixed up within the lifecycle of other documents and their stage-specific policies.

  • Have your staff complete regular training.

Keeping your medical record technicians and fellow medical staff members on the same page is critical to a successful management system. This will help keep them updated with any new policies that may have to be implemented and how they coincide with your medical records management system.

How To Be A Successful Medical Records Technician

A part of being a medical records technician is learning and implementing a proper medical records management system. Following the above strategies will help maintain a smoothly run health business that you and the patients will enjoy coming to.

Read more on what medical records technicians do and the latest on medical records management on your website.

Use Cloud Storage

Where viable, use cloud storage for your medical records management.  See this article on using Amazon S3 services.