‘Release of Information’ with the records: Ep 10, HealthcareTalks

Topics: Health Information Governance | Optimizing for Electronic Medical Records Transition


Why should you keep release of information off-site?

KR: Release of information is a function that virtually all healthcare providers have to perform as a function of the law. And it’s been interesting to us that some organizations are good at it, but most of them aren’t that great at it. It’s not a core focus of theirs. And so we also find that about 50 percent of all of the records that we retrieve for our customers are earmarked for release of information.

So we see a lot of phenomena where we are retrieving records, we are packaging them up, putting them in a vehicle, we send them to our customers, they scan them and then they send them back to us. And you have this whole wasted loop of activity, and you have exposure to loss or inadvertent disclosures due to extra handling. All those things are not frequent but they are exposures.

So it begs the obvious question – why don’t you keep your release of information with your records since 50 percent of the activity really pertains to them? So we have spent a lot of focus on building a release of information business and a process that keeps the ROI function off-site next to the records. As records become increasingly fewer on-site and more off-site, it really makes on-site release of information a thing of the past. And so one of the directions that we see our hospital systems become increasingly warm to is having that work done as part of the overall services platform, and moving to an off-site location so that the HIM function can worry about things that they feel are much more strategic than this compliance process. So release of information off-site is still not a common practice, but we think it’s the way of the future.