Novant Health

Topics: EMR Transition Planning | AHIMA Member Toolkit

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Novant Health - Iron Mountain

CHALLENGE:

Convert medical records to an electronic format in more than 300 clinics across three states

SOLUTION:

Iron Mountain® EMR Enablement Solution

RESULTS:

  • Improve the delivery of patient care
  • Reclaim and repurpose valuable clinic space
  • Better leverage clinic staff
  • Maintain regulatory compliance
  • Reduce storage costs through scanning and destruction of physical records
  • Support Meaningful Use requirements

Converting Paper Charts To Improve EMR Transition

Novant Health is a not-for-profit, integrated health system with 13 hospitals, 1,124 physicians and 355 clinic locations across the Southeast. To prepare for the implementation of its initial electronic medical record (EMR) solution within its physician clinics, the organization developed a strategy for scanning patient records using internal resources.

Novant purchased scanners and leveraged its own staff to perform the conversion services, but quickly discovered the task was more challenging than originally expected. The staff was spread thin across clinical duties and scanning responsibilities — making it difficult to effectively manage the project and keep up with the growing backlog of paper records. Additionally, the staff had varying degrees of training — making quality control difficult.

Novant considered centralizing its efforts with an in-house scanning station, but realized that the expertise required to address the stringent security, chain-of-custody and regulatory requirements would demand more resources than were readily available.

Comprehensive Scanning Across The Enterprise

As Novant began the enterprise implementation of the Epic® EpicCare® EMR, the organization realized that it would need to take a different approach to scanning records in preparation for its EMR transition. Novant has a long-standing history with Iron Mountain and already uses a number of services across its enterprise, including Records Storage and Secure Shredding services. Based on past performance, healthcare-specific experience and a large geographic footprint, the health system selected Iron Mountain® Scanning Services to help accelerate its transition from physical to electronic records and minimize the amount of time spent in a hybrid record state.

Novant's primary objective was to free up its staff to focus on patient care, so it worked with Iron Mountain to implement a best-practice-based strategy and schedule. The first step in devising the strategy was to segment its records and perform a combination of destruction, scanning and storage based on the requirements of each record type.

For active patient records and smaller inactive charts, the entire file would be scanned directly into the new EMR content management system using Iron Mountain® Scanning Services, in compliance with Novant’s chart-retention policies. Records older than two years that were more voluminous and occupied a larger footprint would be stored in a secure, local Iron Mountain facility and scanned when required using the Iron Mountain® Image on Demand™ service.

Iron Mountain worked directly with Novant’s clinics to coordinate the rollout schedule and integrate Iron Mountain® Scanning Services as part of the EpicCare® EMR rollout strategy. By tightly integrating with the EpicCare® EMR deployment, Novant was able to accelerate the EMR transition and reduce its reliance on paper.

Results

With the help of the Iron Mountain, Novant was able to:

  • Improve the delivery of patient care by freeing staff from the administrative tasks associated with scanning
  • Reclaim and repurpose valuable space within its clinics using a cost-efficient storage approach
  • Reallocate resources and help staff spend more time with higher-valued tasks
  • Maintain compliance with all internal and external policies and regulations

“Iron Mountain is helping us transform our operations and accelerate our transition to the Electronic Medical Record. We are working with them to address a range of needs supporting the entire lifecycle of our records — from records management to scanning to shredding,” says Dr. Keith Griffin, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer at Novant Medical Group.


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