The world is depending on front line healthcare workers now more than ever. While these brave professionals put their lives on the line every day, they need access to support systems that help them to accomplish their tasks accurately and efficiently. An area where most hospitals and healthcare facilities usually lag is their printing fleet and document management processes.
As far back as 2005, HIMSS Analytics established a model to measure the effectiveness of a hospital’s electronic medical record adoption processes. The system analyzes how efficient the facility’s current electronic document management processes are on a scale of zero to seven. By 2015, only 3.7% of hospitals had achieved stage 7.
Improving Electronic Health Record Management in Hospitals
Information flows through medical facilities, along with their patients. The effective management of health records doesn’t just affect the facility’s efficiency. It also influences their compliance with regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Wherever the facility accesses, prints, stores, or transmits medical records, they need to comply with the act’s stated controls.
Physical document management processes and outdated printers and copiers can add additional overhead to the already overworked staff. With state-of-the-art multifunction devices (MFDs), the facility can streamline all processes, increase efficiency, and remain compliant with the applicable legislation.
State-of-the-Art HIPAA-Compliant Printers
A modern HIPAA-compliant printer can help the facility to establish effective processes for all their document and record management requirements. These devices come with enhanced printer security and built-in auditable history. The facility can implement follow-me printing that allows a healthcare worker to send a print to the nearest device distributed anywhere in the hospital. Devices also have onboard encryption to keep information safe during transmission and storage. With pull-to-print controls, it will eliminate the risk of uncontrolled disclosure from uncollected print jobs.
Pull-to-print requires an authorized person to enter a pin code or scan an employee badge at the device before it processes the print job. By encrypting the information, the MFD will safeguard the electronic health record until the person is ready to retrieve it. This reduces the cost of HIPAA compliance while also improving information security throughout the facility.
Reducing Reliance on Physical Processes with Enterprise Content Management
The best way to improve information processing efficiency in medical facilities is to adopt an Enterprise Content Management (ECM). These systems can integrate with existing electronic medical record (EMR) systems while using automated workflows to streamline the facility’s Information Management (IM) processes. By reducing the reliance on physical workflows, the hospital can improve their productivity and gain oversight over all their information flows.
ECM solutions have a complete audit trail for every action a person performs on an electronic record. With an automated workflow, information flows seamlessly through departments, and the facility can demonstrate compliance with acts like HIPAA easily.
Mobile Printing Solutions for Field Workers and Home Practitioners
Having to provide healthcare outside of the facility may also be necessary. In these situations, mobile print solutions can also integrate with the ECM system to give practitioners convenient access to critical records and produce the required physical forms out in the field. These mobile printers have all the same features and protections as the facility’s other MFDs, ensuring they do not compromise their compliance.
Cost-Effective Strategies to Improve Hospital Information Management Processes
Instead of deploying the above solutions individually, the hospital can partner with a managed print services (MPS) company to implement a robust IM system. This will allow access to the devices, software solutions, supplies, and technical expertise to improve efficiencies and operate productively.
MPS solutions transfer the risk of all the IM systems to an external service provider. The MPS Company will assess the current environment and recommend the necessary solutions and controls to streamline their process, improve their information security, and reduce the cost of HIPAA compliance.
The benefits of MPS and integrated ECM solutions for hospitals are:
· Upgraded technology and access to devices like a HIPAA-compliant print fleet.
· Consistent budgets with all services bundled into a single monthly cost.
· Improved security and reduced waste with increased oversight.
· Streamlined processes that speed up administrative workflows.
· Complete audit trails with predefined workflows for every critical process.
Improve Electronic Health Record Management Processes with Solutions from Blue Technologies
As facilities work under pressure at the best of times, reducing the administrative burden on staff can help hospitals to cope with increased patient loads. Blue Technologies have a team of experts that understand the medical field and the unique challenges faced by hospitals and healthcare facilities. Our MPS solutions and Managed IT Services, including ECM systems, will ensure the hospital can operate safely and reliably.
For improved electronic health record management in medical facilities or for increased print security using a HIPAA-compliant print fleet, reach out to Blue Technologies in Ohio today.