Northeast Valley Health Corporation

Topics: Health Information Governance


Missy: My name is Teresa Nitescu. My nickname is Missy. I'm the Chief Operations Officer of Northeast Valley Health Corporation. We provide primary care services such as adult medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, family planning, dental, case management, medical nutrition therapy, health education and referral to specialty services.

In terms of EHR meaningful use, Northeast Valley actually adopted the electronic health record across our organization at all fourteen locations in 2012. Once we had transitioned to EHR, we were faced with what to do with all the paper records, and we had over a hundred thousand of those records. We're a nonprofit clinic, so we had to keep costs down. A lot of our providers weren't willing to sift through all the old records. They really only wanted a couple of key documents to be scanned in to help support clinical decision making.

We were handling lots and lots of paper. There was paper everywhere and we were really out of space all the time. The records retirement project that we embarked on with Iron Mountain was our task of moving more than 62,000 records offsite to archive in the Iron Mountain warehouse. The real key stakeholders were the providers themselves. They had to feel comfortable with the fact that we weren't moving the records offsite too soon because they needed those records to support patient clinical decision making. Iron Mountain provided us with expert individuals to guide us through that whole project and come up with a logical workflow that made sense for us. Our decision to work with Iron Mountain on the release of information project was really driven by the fact that we had quite a few requests for releases. Iron Mountain I believe brought more expertise to our ability to be able to release third-party releases timely and in a very HIPAA compliant manner. It's also helped to free up our staff to do other care team activities, and in addition we have downsized some of our FTE in our Medical Records Department.

The centralization of the whole process really has improved our turnaround times for the release of information. With Iron Mountain's help, the average turnaround time for the release of records is two to three days, which is really less than the State's mandate of fifteen days. I really feel like Iron Mountain is a trusted partner of ours.

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