Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
The purpose of the paper is to explain the efforts taken at Rocky Mountain Clinic to reduce scanning of unnecessary documents into their Electronic Health Record (EHR). An EHR is a digital version of a patient’s medical paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. (United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2017) The use of an EHR requires paper documents to be scanned into the system so they are available electronically within the patient’s EHR.
Research was completed to determine documents required as part of the patient’s Legal Health Record (LHR). A LHR is any item, collection, or grouping of a patient’s individually identifiable health information that is created, received or maintained, in paper, or electronic form, by or for SCL Health in their ordinary course of business in any medium, collected and directly used in documenting health status. (SCL Health, 2016) The information obtained from the research was used as a guideline to determine documents unnecessarily scanned by the clinics.
Analysis of unnecessary documents scanned during 2016 was completed and a review of the requirements of a LHR led to a plan to reduce documents unnecessarily scanned. The project focused on the reduction of three types of documents in the initial phase; extended care documents, other facility miscellaneous documents and consent forms. A time study was completed on the tasks associated with scanning documents, and a cost analysis was prepared to show the labor costs for scanning the unnecessary documents.
The goal of the project was to improve efficiency and reduce costs associated with time spent on scanning unnecessary documents. Reducing time spent on scanning unnecessary documents allows associates to focus on scanning pertinent documents or allows time to complete other tasks. Appropriate documents should be scanned daily to ensure the documents are available in the patient’s record timely.
The results of the study showed a slight reduction in unnecessary documents scanned in a short period of time. The results of the project were presented to the HIM Ambulatory team for use in working towards a system wide change. SCL Health plans on finalizing a system wide policy as well as a guideline for scanning appropriate documents. The policy and guideline will be rolled out to all clinics within the system. Follow up with Rocky Mountain Clinic will be provided to explain the progress made and they will be encouraged to continue making improvements.
Wood, Toni, "Reduction of Unnecessary Scanning to Lower Costs While Preserving the Integrity of the Legal Health Record" (2017). Graduate Theses & Non-Theses. 113.