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Learn how a hospital gained visibility across its records inventory and established a process for defensible disposition.
Medical records are essential to efficient patient care delivery, and they are also highly regulated. Any decisions about how they are managed — that is, what should be retained and for how long, as well as what should be destroyed — must comply with the laws and regulations that protect the integrity and security of health information.
When a large U.S. medical center decided to take control of its records management program, it realized the need for better file-level visibility, along with a more efficient and defensible process for making decisions on disposition. Seeking a process to support its short-term need to move records offsite as well as a simplified records management system for the long-term, the medical center turned to Iron Mountain Smart Sort.
With Smart Sort, organizations can locate, sort, reorganize, and manage a large number of records with greater clarity. Smart Sort is a workflow solution that uses minimal information (e.g., patient record numbers) from an organization’s core applications and matches that information with a scan or keyed entry of the file ID.
The Smart Sort technology was designed to automate decision-making and data mapping once a match is identified. As a result, full file-level visibility is created for each individual box, and organizations are enabled to quickly make decisions on the disposition of each file.
Let’s take a closer look at how this major medical center took advantage of Smart Sort.
To make room for new patient care initiatives, a medical center set out to free up space by relocating their paper records to an offsite facility. Before placing their files into storage, they wanted to identify all records that were eligible for destruction so they could reduce risk as well as storage costs.
Any action a healthcare organization takes with regard to patient records must be defensible. It must strictly comply with state and federal laws as well as healthcare privacy regulations and contractual arrangements (e.g., with insurance companies). The medical center quickly determined that it lacked the necessary visibility and an established process to make defensible decisions about which records to retain and which ones were eligible for destruction.
A team of Iron Mountain records management professionals went to work. Using Smart Sort, along with relevant information pulled from the medical center’s master patient index and records retention schedule, they were able to quickly:
Any business process that involves sorting and organizing records can benefit from Smart Sort.
To learn more or to request information, contact your Iron Mountain account manager directly. Go to our Smart Sort page, or fill out this form and include the words “Smart Sort” in the comments section.