For any medical record technician, managing medical records can be an overwhelming task, more so during usually busy times caused by a pandemic. However, once you develop strategies for medical records management, it will make this task less taxing, and help to create a better records retention policy for your organization.
Just like in any business that’s 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, make sure to take notes! These strategies are some of the best-kept secrets to help you manage your records in a better, more efficient way.
1. Establish A Medical Records Management System
It is important to establish a management system that is easy to maintain and organize. This system is crucial for protecting both the patients and doctors. Without a manageable medical records system, mistakes can be made and malpractice can happen.
As a medical records technician, it is important to stay on top of the latest trends of medical records management and to adopt similar strategies you will see below.
A successful system means a successful practice.
2. EMR Versus EHR
There are two different 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 is the outline for all the policies each document has in place in each stage of a documents ‘life.’
At each stage of a medical record, from the creation of the medical record to the formal disposal of a record, it is a part of medical records management to determine if the medical record 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 overall 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 a longer period of time, 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 records and their stage-specific policies.
- Have your staff complete regular training
Keeping your medical record technicians and fellow medical staff members all on the same page is key to a successful management system. This will help keep them updated with any new policies that may have to be put into place, 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 being able to learn and implement a proper medical records management system. By following the above strategies, you will help maintain a smoothly run health business that you and the patients will enjoy coming to.
Make sure to read more on what medical records technicians do and the latest on medical records management on your website.