Digital Medical Record Mandate

The digital medical record mandate was set by the federal government, as a key provision of the  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  In essence, the mandate states that all public, and private, healthcare providers, and other eligible professionals, must adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records.  Failure to comply with the digital record mandate could directly impact the healthcare professional’s reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.

The mandate is a positive move, for both patients and providers.  Medical records contain highly sensitive healthcare information, and should be treated with the utmost security.  When your records are comprised of paper files, it can be difficult to organize and protect information.  Storage is always a concern, but when your files are stored electronically, the safety and security of your patient data is strong.

The digital medical record mandate also benefit your office staff.  What once took time to organize and store is now efficiently controlled with the click of a mouse.  Insurance information, including the information required for reimbursement by Medicaid and Medicare, is easily accessed.  And, electronic storage of patient records makes it easy to attach lab results and prescription history.

Improved Document Management & Efficiency

With all the positive aspects of the digital medical record mandate, what could possibly be the down side?  Many healthcare clinics and medical offices are overwhelmed by the day-to-day multitasking involved in patient care.  Finding the time or energy to scan and organize multiple patient records can be a real challenge.  It takes dedication and extreme organization, given the nature of the hard copy data.

That’s why medical professionals and health care providers who wish to comply with the digital medical record mandate turn to Modern Image USA.  Modern Image provides medical document scanning, organization of office information, and conversion of your paper files an patient charts to electronic files.  Our record management experts will meet with you to discuss your options regarding the digital medical record mandate.  We’ll come up with a plan that works best for you and present you with a no-cost estimate within 24 hours.

You can trust Modern Image USA with your most sensitive information.  We securely transport your records to our scanning center, create an electronic copy of all of your files and information, transfer the data to your electronic document management system, and, with your permission, shred the paper documents and provide you with a certificate of destruction.

Modern Image scanning center serves the DC, Maryland and Virginia area.  We’re located in Fairfax, where we proudly participate in many community and civic organizations, such as the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and NAPO-WDS, the National Association of Professional Organizers-Washington DC.  Our medical document scanning service is full compliant with HIPAA directives, and we submit to independent audits to ensure our compliance.

Schedule Medical Document Scanning Services

The digital medical record mandate is beneficial to your medical practice.  At Modern Image USA, we make it easy to get on board.  Contact Modern Image USA today and store all of your information electronically.

 

Modern Image Partners with eTERA Consulting

At Modern Image USA, we are constantly striving to improve our skills and expertise to provide the highest quality service to our clients. We do this through ongoing training and certification courses, as well as partnering with experts in a wide range of industries.

Last week, Modern Image partnered with eTERA Consulting to enhance legal expertise and relationships with key industry contacts. Read more about our partnership in the press release below:

WASHINGTON, DC – March 31, 2015eTERA Consulting, an internationally recognized and award-winning leader in data and technology management, today announced that Modern Image USA (Modern Image) has joined the company’s highly successful All1ance One™ global partner network. The All1ance One Partner Program provides many ways for business partners to expand their business, win more clients and increase revenue by offering their clients a full range of eDiscovery services throughout the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM).

“The partnership we have created with eTERA Consulting allows us to leverage our contacts in the legal space who are in need of eDiscovery services,” says Andy Reiman, President of Modern Image. “This partnership will provide us with the opportunity to generate additional revenue while connecting our clients to a company that is backed by an excellent reputation in the legal industry for their approach to litigation cost containment, project management and client delivery.”

“We are thrilled to have added Modern Image to the growing All1ance One Partner Program,” said Mary McGinness, eTERA Consulting’s All1ance One Manager. “Modern Image is a leading legal document scanning provider in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, making them an ideal All1ance One Partner for eTERA. They share a similar passion and client service focus as we do, and I know we will be very successful together.”

eTERA Consulting’s All1ance One global partner network offers three partnership categories including Connectors, Associates and Integrators. The All1ance One global network helps eTERA’s partners to maximize their revenue potential across the entire EDRM. For more information about becoming an eTERA Consulting All1ance One Partner, interested companies or individuals may contact Mary McGinness at mmcginness(at)eteraconsulting(dot)com.

About eTERA Consulting

eTERA Consulting, Built by the clients, for the clients™ is an award-winning leader in data and technology management providing innovative solutions to help clients overcome the high costs of managing large volumes of data, electronic discovery and content searching. As an international consultancy, eTERA offers five key services across the Electronic Discovery Reference Model including Early Information Assessment®, Forens1cs One℠, 1ntelligent One™, Rev1ew One™ and Opt1mum One.® These services help clients to proactively identify and analyze data early in the process allowing for significant data reduction, enhanced decision-making abilities, significant savings on eDiscovery costs and defensibility. eTERA Consulting provides clients with the necessary swat-team of experts needed to effectively manage litigation, government investigations and regulatory matters. eTERA Consulting utilizes software tools verified by the Gartner Group and is SSAE-16 certified to ensure the protection of client data. Headquartered in Washington, DC, and with offices in Chicago, Brussels, London and Paris, eTERA Consulting has served the legal industry since 2004. eTERA Consulting was selected by the Legal Times in 2014 as the Best End-to-End Litigation Consulting Firm and in 2013 as the Best Data and Technology Management eDiscovery Provider. eTERA Consulting has also been recognized by the National Law Journal for four consecutive years as the nation’s top End-to-End eDiscovery Company.

 

Learn More

To learn more about what this partnership means for Modern Image and how your company can benefit, contact Modern Image today.

Call 703-286-7735 or fill out a contact form to get started.

When you are moving your office, you don’t have to take the paper with you. Determine your scanning ROI.

filecabinetMany of our clients at Modern Image are scanning their documents so they don’t have to rent space to store paper onsite.  Storage can be expensive, especially when you are renting space in our service areas of Washington DC, Northern Virginia, suburban Maryland, or Atlanta.  The higher your rent, the larger your return on investment in scanning.

While it’s hard for people to visualize how they can do their job without their precious paper file in the filing cabinet down the hall, once we take a close look at how paper is used, we can often find a way to operate with a digital copy of the paper instead.  These are simple tips for evaluating ROI.

1)      Complete an inventory of documents across all departments.  Meet with department heads to learn how paper documents are used.  Since your clerks are the ones who work with the documents all day, it’s a great idea to meet with them to see if they have ideas about creating a more efficient process.

2)      Identify documents that can be immediately purged via shredding.  These documents are typically files that have outlived their usefulness, and have exceeded the legal time limit that government regulations require you to keep them.  For example, certain financial records only need to be kept for 7 years.  These files should be shredded instead of scanned.

3)      Identify important documents that occupy a large amount of storage that could be scanned.  Typically, these include personnel files for active employees and retirees, and accounting records (AP, AR, vendor files, checks, ledgers, and expense reports).

4)      Identify other categories of documents that can be scanned.  These include legal records, contracts, project documents, marketing files, trade show materials, journals, board meeting minutes, and executive records.

5)      Determine the total amount of storage, in square feet, of the paper files identified above.  Measure the file cabinets and the space required around the cabinets to open the drawers.  Measure your current file room.  Once you have the number of square feet, multiply that by the rent in your new office.  Generally, it will take 1-3 years to receive your complete return on investment for scanning, simply from rent savings.  Sometimes the ROI can be achieved in less than 1 year.

The soft cost savings can also be significant.  I’ll write in a future blog on how to calculate soft dollar savings; however the list below gives you an idea of where those savings are found.

1)      Eliminate the walk to the file cabinet to file documents, pull documents, and re-file documents.

2)      Eliminate lost or misfiled documents. In a medical practice, a lost medical record can trigger a large fine.  A misfiled financial record can trigger a multi-day effort by an entire department to find the important file.

3)      Reduce or reassign employees who spend their day filing documents.

Further, once your documents have been scanned, they can be stored in a document management system which can add further efficiency to your business processes.

If you need help with this analysis, complete the contact form on the right and we will help you understand what your return on investment can be.

Free Document Management System. Box.net launches Box.org for 501(c)(3) non-profits

Box.org websiteOur document and photo scanning clients are always interested in learning about document management systems.  One of the most interesting players in cloud-based document management vendor is Box.net.  They are best known for implementing powerful security for the Box.net platform, while maintaining a very low cost per user.  We like Box.net because it is a terrific place to store your scanned documents and scanned photos.

Today, Box’s CEO Aaron Levie announced the launch of Box.org, a new initiative that will offer free and discounted licenses to nonprofit organizations.  The service will be free to organizations with 10 or fewer users, while those with more than 10 employees will get a 50% discount.  The nonprofit must be officially designated a 501(c)(3), or foreign equivalent.

From Box.org website, the mission: “At Box, we believe that those committed to doing good should have the best tools available to them.

Box.org’s mission is to help nonprofit organizations be more productive and collaborative in achieving their mission. By providing access to the best-in-class cloud technology, we strive to provide the simplest, but most powerful solution to store content, share files and collaborate on their most important ideas.”

Modern Images’ nonprofit document scanning and photo scanning clients should all take a look at Box.org.

Virginia Community Service Board review for Modern Image

From our Google+ page, we received the following review for a large medical chart scanning project from Alan Witt at the Region Ten Community Service Board (CSB).   Region Ten provides mental health, intellectual disability, crisis and substance use services for adults and children living in the City of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson.

r10“As an agency we were balancing a renovation project for the building where our records were housed and there was a late decision to expedite our plans to scan our medical records.  We needed a partner who could be flexible around our plan and support us with the transition while providing useful and clear documents for providers to be able to access for continuous use.  We were recommended Modern Image by another CSB who was currently involved in a similar project.  Modern Image navigated the preparation of the project along with a several day prep and ship, and have continued to offer excellent customer service and a quality product; as promised.

Andy and Modern Image provided a supportive foundation to the project from the very beginning.  He was able to help us determine everything from the basics of record/page count to final package product along supportive information to attach to our Electronic Health Record System.   Andy, Michelle, and the rest of the staff at Modern Image have worked to make are project feel important and have offered a significant attention to detail!

Our project was estimated at over 3.5 million pages and a timeline of 6+ months until completion.  The weekly updates and ease of communication are a great vantage point into the process and we are satisfied with the project in whole! As a partner with Modern Image we have problem solved on unanticipated issues and have continuously remained goal focused.   We are still navigating our project with Modern Image but we have been very pleased with the efforts and support.  I would recommend his company to anyone working through a similar project.”

Click here to read more reviews.

How to Scan Medical Charts

Kodak i1420When scanning medical charts, special care is required to successfully execute the project. The term “medical chart” is used interchangeably with medical record and health record.  A medical chart can be a physical paper file, a digital copy of the physical paper file, or a database record contained in an Electronic Medical Record system.  The use and maintenance of medical charts is highly regulated under HIPAA. HIPAA rules are created by the US Department of Health and Human Services, and enforcement is under the HHS Office for Civil Rights.  Failure to comply with HIPAA rules can result in severe penalties and fines.

Chart scanning usually takes place as part of an EMR implementation, or in conjunction with the relocation of a medical facility.  When planning to scan your charts, the project should be split in 4 parts:

  1. Planning.  The plan should include start and end dates, how to organize charts for scanning, what to scan or discard, what is medically necessary to keep, what is the retention schedule, are there exceptions to the retention schedule, how to name the electronic charts, bulk or manual loading of charts in the EMR, maintaining HIPAA compliance during the project, Business Associate Agreements (BAA) with vendors, packing charts in boxes, inventory of charts, chain of custody, urgent requests for charts, transportation, and encryption.  There are many more things to consider, but these are some of the key requirements.
  2. Packing and Transportation. Charts should always be transported with care and security in mind.  Proper packing is the only way to ensure that you can retrieve a chart at any time during the scanning process.  Vehicles containing medical charts or electronic medical charts should never be left unattended.  Electronic medical charts should always be delivered encrypted.
  3. Scanning Process.  All scanning begins with Chart Preparation. Chart prep is the process of disassembling the physical chart, removing paper from prongs, placing paper in the correct sequence, organizing into categories, and removing staples and other clips.  If a determination was made to eliminate parts of the chart that are not medically or legally required, they will be removed during chart prep.  Scanning should be performed on professional-grade scanners with professional scanning software.  Entry-level scanners can allow scanner multi-feeding to occur, which essentially makes a page disappear. In HIPAA related scanning, a missing page could be a legal disaster for the hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office.  Professional-grade scanners will last longer and perform better throughout the life of the machine.  All scanners require regular cleaning for the glass over the cameras and for the drive and brake wheels.  If a scanner will be sued continuously throughout the day, the scanner may require cleaning more than once per day.  Paper is dirty, and used paper is really dirty.  Professional scanning software should be used because of the high efficiency that can be achieved.  Professional scanning software, like Kodak Capture Pro or Kofax Capture makes it possible to do “batch” processing, meaning processing of many files at once.  Low end scanning software, such as Adobe Acrobat, only let you scan one document at a time, which is highly unproductive and expensive.  Professional scanning software will also include special image enhancement features that will improve the quality of the scan.  If the charts are going through Optical Character Recognition (to create searchable medical charts), the professional software will use the best OCR engines.  It should be noted that OCR is highly unreliable on handwritten text.  OCR is only valuable for typewritten text.  If charts are handwritten, then OCR is not required.
  4. Verification, shredding, storage.  Generally, a scanning project would be considered to be high quality when no errors can be detected.  “High quality” must be defined.  Scanned charts must be verified for quality.  There are a variety of methods, when used together produce a very high quality result.  Page counts before and after scanning are very effective.  Visually inspecting every scanned page is important.  A large sample should be verified in the early phases of the project.  As confidence in quality rises, the sample size can be decreased.  Electronic copies of the medical charts should be stored in multiple, HIPAA-compliant locations to ensure that the records will be available in the event of a major disaster in your primary storage.  Once electronic medical charts are verified for quality, and they are properly stored in multiple locations, a decision must be made to either shred or store the records.  In most jurisdictions, shredding is permitted so long as you have scanned copies.  However, retention rules are complex and you must consult an expert about your particular situation.  If shredding is permitted, this is not where you want to go for a cut-rate shredding vendor.  It is highly recommended to use a NAID (National Association of Information Destruction) certified provider.  In particular, we recommend vendor who will shred on their truck at your site, while under your visual control. If shredding is not an option, paper charts should be properly stored at a dedicated record storage facility.  Self-storage units are notoriously prone to fire and other damage which can result in the loss of the original files.

Lastly, you need to put the scanned electronic medical charts somewhere.  There are 3 schools of thought.  First, copy the electronic charts to the Windows file system, and use as needed.  If they have been named using (Last name), (First name), they will sort easily.  The second method is to upload all the charts into the EMR.  This is common for medical centers and larger clinics.  Third, for smaller clinics, it is more common that the chart is copied to the EMR only when a patient comes in again for treatment.  This method will ensure that the EMR only has records for current and future patients.  Former patients’ charts will be accessible on the Windows file system.

If you would like more information about medical chart scanning, fill out the information form on the right.

How do you get your military records?

The Scan Man came across this interesting video that shows how military service records are stored and how they are retrieved when a service member or veteran needs to get their records.

The records are stored at the National Military Personnel Records Center (NPRC), located in St. Louis, MO.  The record center is operated by the US National Archives and contains 80 million records, mostly in paper format.  The center receives 5,000 requests per day, which requires someone to physically locate the paper records and then scan them.  The process is supposed to take 10 days or less, and it does for 75% of the records.  In 1975, the building housing the records experienced a large fire and many records were lost.  The video depicts how burned records are carefully pieced together.  Enjoy the video!