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Is your team handling countless calls because of medical record status updates? These frequent inquiries often bleed from one call to the next, adding to your staff’s already heavy workload. But leave them unanswered, and you risk violating the Right of Access Initiative and opening your practice to negative online reviews.

Some healthcare providers choose to staff up and hire more medical records clerks in response to this challenge, but this method is expensive and takes time to onboard and train new hires with HIPAA compliance.

We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for ways to reduce your calls and inquiries regarding medical records status updates. In this article, we’re going to cover 7 tips for cutting through the clutter and reducing those medical record status update calls using ChartRequest.

From real-time Release of Information (ROI) status updates to white-glove omnichannel support, we help all requestors obtain medical records like a pro.

Why Does it Take So Long to Release Medical Records?

Release of Information (ROI) refers to the process of disclosing protected health information (PHI) to authorized individuals or organizations. This can include personal physicians, insurance companies, attorneys, and more.

Managing delays is one of the biggest challenges in releasing medical records to requestors. According to one study,  70% of patient records have incorrect or missing information.  This can lead to delays in processing requests, as staff must manually sift through records and verify their accuracy before releasing them.

Additionally, the process often involves multiple parties, each with its own requirements and timelines.

Apart from managing delays, healthcare providers face an array of challenges when releasing medical records.

Privacy Laws

Providers must prioritize compliance with strict privacy laws, such as HIPAA. The process of releasing medical information by these regulations can be complex and time-consuming. Additionally, the verification process, which verifies the identity of the requester and their legal access rights, further extends the time required for releasing records.

Volume of Request

Healthcare providers face additional pressure due to the high volume of requests they receive. Handling these requests in the order they are received can result in delays, particularly during peak times. These delays add to the high number of medical records status updates.

Manual Processes

Retrieving, copying, and sending medical records manually is slow and labor-intensive, further complicating record handling. The complexity of medical records, often scattered across various departments or healthcare facilities, adds extra challenges. Manually compiling and reviewing these records to ensure accuracy and completeness is a time-consuming task that can cause delays in releasing the records.

Technological Limitation

In an era where technology rules, not all healthcare systems have fully modernized their record-keeping systems. The limitations in technology can slow down the process of retrieving and sending electronic records. 

Staffing constraints also play a significant role because staff shortages and heavy workloads can delay the processing of record requests. Administrative staff handling these requests may often be responsible for juggling multiple tasks, further delaying records release.

Physical Mailing Time

If a healthcare provider shares records via postal mail, the physical time it takes to deliver the mail adds at least a few days to the overall timeframe.  This can further delay medical record requests and lead to frustrated requestors.

Understanding these potential delays and explaining them to your requestors will help tamper their expectations when it comes to medical records status updates. 

In the next section, we’ll discuss some tips on how to streamline your medical records release process using ChartRequest’s advanced features.

1. Implementing an Online Tracking System

Implementing an online tracking system can significantly reduce the burden of constantly updating requestors about their medical records. This method provides real-time updates on the status of record requests, from initiation to fulfillment.

According to the 2018 Global Customer Service report by Microsoft, 66% of consumers prefer self-service options before reaching out to a representative. This indicates that online tracking is valuable to requestors.

That’s one of the major reasons why ChartRequest offers real-time status updates for every record request. Requestors can track the progress of their requests in real time, eliminating the need to constantly call your team for constant medical records status updates.

2. Automated Notification Systems

Automated notification systems are another convenient way to keep requestors updated on the status of their medical records. These can include automated emails or text messages sent at different stages of the process, such as when the request is received, in progress, and fulfilled.

This proactive approach keeps requestors informed without them having to constantly follow up with your team for updates. It also helps reduce the volume of incoming calls and emails, freeing up staff time to focus on more critical tasks.

3. Providing Clear Timeframe Communications

Communication is key when it comes to managing expectations. Communicating the expected timeframe for medical records release can help set realistic expectations for requestors.

Having a clear and consistent communication strategy in place, such as providing a standard timeframe for fulfilling requests, helps manage the requestor’s expectations. It also allows them to plan accordingly, reducing frustration and dissatisfaction with the process.

According to HIPAA’s Privacy Rule, a healthcare provider has 30 days to fulfill each medical records request. It should also be in the form and format requested by the individual.  You should work around this timeline and communicate it with the requestor.

You can also push the timeframe for another 30 days, but the requestor must be notified of the delay in writing with a valid reason for the extension. With ChartRequest, however, your team can effortlessly release records in a fraction of the required time.

4. Leveraging Cloud-Based Platforms

Cloud-based platforms offer advanced features that can help streamline your medical record release process. These include electronic signature capabilities, secure messaging, and customizable templates.

The right online ROI solution can cut back calls for medical records status updates.

Electronic signatures allow for a faster and more efficient way to obtain consent for releasing records. They eliminate the need for paper forms and physical mail, reducing processing time significantly.

Secure messaging enables easy communication with requestors, providing a direct line of communication without the need for phone calls or emails.

Customizable templates allow for quick and standardized responses to frequently asked questions, reducing the time spent on repetitive tasks. It also ensures consistent and accurate messaging to requestors.

5. Efficient Billing and Payment Systems

Fees associated with accessing medical records can sometimes be a point of contention for requestors and record custodians. However, automating billing and payment systems can eliminate this issue.

By using a cloud-based ROI platform, you can easily generate and send accurate invoices for requestors and allow them to make payments securely online. This simplifies the process for the requestor and ensures timely payment for services rendered.

Providing a breakdown of copy fees shows your transparency while reducing calls regarding billing.

When dealing with inquiries regarding billings during medical records status updates, explaining the following can help:

  • Explain the law: Clarify that HIPAA allows healthcare providers to charge a reasonable, cost-based fee for providing copies of medical records.
  • Detail the fee structure: Break down the costs associated with copying and mailing the records. This might include the cost of supplies, labor, and postage.
  • Discuss electronic copies: If the requestor prefers an electronic copy of the records, explain any costs associated with creating and sending the electronic file.
  • Notify about prepayment: If your practice requires prepayment before the records are sent out, inform the requestor and explain this policy clearly.
  • Provide information on disputes: Give requestors information on what to do if they think the fees are excessive or if they have difficulty paying. Offer potential solutions or alternative options if possible.

How Does Partnering with ROI Specialists Help Reduce Medical Record Status Updates

Handling large volumes of ROI requests traditionally comes with an average influx of 7 medical records status update calls. This strains resources but also increases the risk of errors and delays, leading to potential dissatisfaction among requestors and compliance issues.

Outsourcing ROI to Full-Service medical records retrieval teams can significantly reduce the burden on healthcare providers. These specialized teams possess the necessary expertise and efficient systems to handle a high volume of requests accurately. By entrusting this task to experts, healthcare providers can prioritize their core functions while ensuring a smooth and satisfactory experience for requestors.

  • Increased Efficiency: By outsourcing ROI tasks, healthcare providers can enjoy streamlined workflows and shorter processing times. This is made possible by leveraging ROI professionals’ specialized expertise and advanced systems.
  • Reduced Operational Costs: Outsourcing eliminates the need for managing ROI tasks in-house, which significantly reduces the costs associated with labor, supplies, and infrastructure.
  • Minimized Risk of Errors and Delays: ROI specialists are experts in handling these tasks with precision and efficiency, which prevents errors and delays that may result in compliance issues.
  • Improved Compliance: Outsourcing firms specializing in ROI possess extensive knowledge of current healthcare regulations. This way, healthcare providers to maintain compliance with laws like HIPAA.
  • Enhanced Patient Satisfaction: Outsourcing can enhance patient satisfaction by streamlining the ROI process, ensuring timely and hassle-free delivery of medical records. This contributes to a smooth and efficient experience for patients.
  • Focus on Core Services: Outsourcing allows healthcare providers to concentrate on their primary services, enhancing their overall service quality and patient care.

Prefer to keep the release of information in-house? Learn more about our Self-Service partnership instead.

Reduce Medical Records Status Updates Using ChartRequest

ChartRequest is the #1 ROI platform with blisteringly fast turnaround times, revolutionizing the way healthcare providers handle medical records requests. Boasting an impressive 4.8 Google rating derived from over 700 positive reviews, it is highly regarded for its efficiency and reliability.

ChartRequest consistently outperforms other services in turnaround times, delivering requested medical records for Full-Service partners with our 5-day guarantee. Our service offers an unparalleled blend of speed, security, and customer satisfaction, making us the #1 choice for ROI needs across the country.

How ChartRequest Features Help Reduce Calls for Medical Records Status Updates:

ChartRequest offers a range of features that prioritize transparency, communication, support, and efficiency:

  1. Real-Time Status Updates: Stay informed about the progress of your medical records requests with instant, real-time updates. Our transparent system minimizes uncertainty and enhances the overall experience for both requestors and providers.
  2. Provider Chat Built into Each Request: Our intuitive interface includes a built-in chat system within each request. This allows for efficient communication, making clarifying queries, resolving issues, and providing updates easy.
  3. White-Glove Omnichannel Support: We take pride in offering comprehensive support across multiple channels. Whether you prefer phone, email, or live chat, our support team is readily available to provide assistance and address concerns, ensuring a seamless user experience.

These features highlight our commitment to providing a transparent, supportive, and timely service, making ChartRequest the trusted choice for healthcare providers nationwide.

Experience Fast and Secure ROI with ChartRequest

Reducing medical record status update calls and delays can be greatly achieved by adopting efficient ROI processing methods.

Outsourcing ROI to experts like ChartRequest allows healthcare providers to focus on their core services while ensuring a smooth and satisfactory experience for requestors. These key omnichannel supports significantly enhance service quality.

Furthermore, ChartRequest uniquely leverages billable requests to offset the costs of high non-billable ROI requests. It’s a strategic approach that proves beneficial for healthcare providers.

As we move forward in the digital era, we encourage healthcare providers to consider SaaS solutions like ChartRequest to experience remarkable efficiency, security, and satisfaction in handling ROI.

Take the first step towards transforming your ROI process today! Check out ChartRequest solutions for all types of requestors. If you want to witness first-hand the power of ChartRequest, schedule a consultation at no cost!

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