Is hiring one more medical records clerk the only way to handle your growing medical record demands? It’s time to challenge that notion!
Healthcare facilities are feeling the pressure. With medical records requests increasing, teams are stretching thin to keep up. The numbers tell a clear story: 3 in 5 patients want online access to their medical records.
When the workload gets heavy, the gut reaction is to bring on more medical records clerks. It seems like the obvious move—more requests, more workers. But there’s a hitch in this plan. It misses the chance to leverage tools to do the work smarter.
These modern systems changed the landscape of health information exchange, and they bring a smoother, more reliable way to manage health information without the need to swell staff numbers.
ROI software doesn’t just meet the need for speed and security in relaying medical records; it sets a new standard, all while keeping tight with HIPAA rules. It’s a wake-up call for the healthcare sector to think beyond just adding to the payroll.
In this article, find out how adopting better technology can help your healthcare facility remove medical record request backlogs without hiring extra hands on deck.
What Is The Role of a Medical Records Clerk?
A medical records clerk meticulously organizes, safeguards, and manages the release of patient information, ensuring accuracy and compliance with healthcare privacy laws.
These individuals manage the critical flow of requests for health information, and their work is essential to support the functions of medical frontlines. They serve patients, insurers, and attorneys, among others.
These clerks do much more than file papers — they manage the critical flow of requests for health information. They do this by:
- Maintaining the orderliness of patient data,
- Handling the details of Release of Information (ROI) processes,
- And checking that every action falls in line with HIPAA directives.
The volume of their work is not light, and their workday requires strong attention to detail in order to safeguard patient privacy. AHIMA notes that HIMs and radiology departments tackle thousands of requests annually.
Each medical records clerk is tasked with an important role. They make sure each request is within established legal frameworks.
While digitizing medical records has streamlined some processes, the human element that medical records clerks provide remains indispensable. They bring a critical eye to digital records, confirming them for accuracy before the data is shared.
Medical Records Clerks Feel the Burden of High Request Volume
Facing an uptick in ROI requests, your medical records department is hitting a wall. This surge isn’t just a bump in the workload. It’s a constant stream that threatens to swamp your already struggling system.
Clerks, charged with the delicate balance of speed and confidentiality, are feeling the pinch as backlogs start to build.
Here’s what’s unfolding behind the scenes:
- Workload challenges: Each new request adds to the already growing pile. It stretches the capacity of medical records clerks who are already juggling many tasks to keep up.
- Compliance pressure: The meticulous nature of HIPAA compliance means no room for error. Despite the increasing workload, thoroughness is still expected even under time pressure. Steep HIPAA fines can cost thousands of dollars if even a small detail is overlooked.
- Staff stress: The surge in demand places more pressure on existing staff and leads to high-stress levels. Employees are also more prone to errors when overworked, with 33% of healthcare workers citing administrative tasks contribute to feelings of burnout.
The HHS mandates 30 days to fulfill requests, but the reality is often a race against time. It’s also compounded by the fact that not all requests are straightforward. There are instances that call for an even higher degree of scrutiny and coordination.
How can medical record clerks uphold the privacy and security standards demanded by law and expected by patients without succumbing to the relentless tide of requests?
It’s a problem that ROI solutions like ChartRequest specialize in. We help sustain the integrity of the healthcare system by streamlining the ROI process.
The Hidden Costs of Hiring Additional Medical Records Clerks
Now that we’re done talking about the roles and challenges faced by medical records clerks, let’s talk about costs.
The decision to hire another staff carries weight beyond the obvious expenses. Hiring more may seem like a straightforward solution, but the reality is more complex. It’s peppered with hidden costs that can strain your facility’s finances and management bandwidth.
Here’s a breakdown of the often-underestimated financial impact:
- Salary and benefits: A new medical records clerk’s salary is just the tip of the iceberg. When you add in benefits and other expenses, it can increase by nearly 30%, inflating the total outlay significantly.
- Training costs: Onboarding isn’t just about a welcome tour. It’s an investment that involves comprehensive training. SHRM estimates the average cost to be around $4,125 per new hire.
- Supervision and management: More staff means more oversight. Managers invest time in supervising, which diverts their focus from other strategic duties. Though not reflected in a ledger, it can diminish their ability to be an individual contributor.
- Administrative overhead: Each new hire compounds administrative duties like payroll and HR. Although essential, this diverts resources from direct patient care.
So, when considering bolstering your staff, you’re looking at a ripple effect of costs. More significantly, it doesn’t address the root of the problem: releasing medical records is tedious and slow.
ROI Software: An Ally for Medical Records Clerks
Medical records management can be a confusing maze. Its ever-changing landscape means wrong turns are just around the corner. It’s even more exacerbated by the need for speed and compliance.
ChartRequest makes it easy to avoid common compliance pitfalls by streamlining the process of releasing medical records. Rather than fumbling around with fax machines and enduring countless frustrations, medical records clerks can enjoy a simpler, more efficient workflow.
This means they can fulfill more requests in less time, ensuring compliance and freeing up time for more valuable work.
ROI technologies bridge the gap between keeping the cost down and meeting your current requests. Here are a few ways that ROI platforms help redefine health information exchange:
- Automated efficiency: By replacing the manual slog with smart automation, ROI software speeds up the process. What once took days now unfolds in hours, if not minutes.
- Enhanced compliance: ROI software adheres to the stringent regulations of HIPAA. Compliance shouldn’t be an afterthought—it should be baked into every transaction.
- Statistical superiority: Evidence of efficiency isn’t anecdotal. An ROI software should be able to reduce ROI processing time. Healthcare facilities should be able to go from slog to sprint.
ROI software sets the stage for groundbreaking solutions — faster turnarounds. ChartRequest in particular rises and continues pushing the limits of HIE.
Simplify the Release of Information With the #1 ROI Software
The release of information looks a little different for each organization, and factors like size and specialty impact request volume. Here are some of the ways ChartRequest streamlines ROI:
- User-Friendly Design: ChartRequest is designed to streamline the release of information and eliminate every unnecessary part of the process. What’s left is a consistent workflow that helps requestors get records in as little as 1 business day.
- Real-Time Status Updates: Eliminate an average of 7 phone calls per request by letting requestors see the current status of their request online anytime. Additionally, requestors can ask questions anytime using the provider chat function built into each request.
- Works With Your EMR: ChartRequest bridges gaps in interoperability by working with all EMR systems. Additionally, athenahealth and ModMed users can ask about the benefits of integration to enjoy unprecedented efficiency.
- Security and Privacy Compliance: ChartRequest uses strong encryption to protect patient data both at rest and in transit, and we always stay up-to-date on the latest regulatory changes.
- Detailed Audit Log: ChartRequest keeps detailed logs of every interaction with each request. This practice is crucial for compliance and healthcare audits and helps you keep an accounting of disclosures.
- Automated Billing With a 99+% Collection Rate: ChartRequest partnership enables organizations to offset costs or even get paid for releasing records, all while saving your ROI staff’s time. This means financial wins all around!
- White-Glove Service for All Requestors: Our dedicated support team is ready to serve your entire requestor community. With white-glove service and omnichannel support options, ChartRequest has achieved an average rating of 4.8 stars on Google with over 650 reviews.
You can revolutionize how your organization releases records. With a Self-Service partnership, your team can save an average of 2 hours per request. With Full-Service, you can completely eliminate the burdens of ROI.
Another In-House Medical Records Clerk vs. ChartRequest
Efficient medical records management is a necessary burden. It’s a heavy load to carry and impacts several aspects of the healthcare system. Opting between bulking up your in-house team or adopting ChartRequest’s solution is critical.
Here’s how they stack up:
- Cost of Expansion vs. Cost of Service: Hiring another medical records clerk means significant overhead costs. There are also salaries, benefits, and the hidden costs of turnover.
- Time Allocation: An in-house clerk’s time is a finite resource. It’s also divided across many tasks. ChartRequest dedicates its full bandwidth to the ROI process, ensuring that requests are not just met, but expedited.
- Resource Optimization: By offloading ROI tasks to ChartRequest, you can reallocate your most valuable resource—time—back to patient care. This not only improves service quality but also staff morale.
- Efficiency Gains: ChartRequest’s full-service ROI slashes the time from request to retrieval. What might take an in-house team days—or even weeks—ChartRequest often reduces to mere days.
- Scalability: As demand fluctuates, an in-house team can feel overwhelmed or underutilized. ChartRequest scales effortlessly with demand, ensuring consistent service regardless of volume.
The choice between an in-house medical records clerk and ChartRequest’s full-service solution is a choice between the status quo and a streamlined future. ChartRequest doesn’t just add value; we multiply it by freeing healthcare staff to focus on what they do best — caring for patients.
The Financial Implications: Investment vs. Ongoing Expense
See how ChartRequest and hiring an in-house medical records clerk stack up against each other.
- Technology ROI: Investing in ChartRequest’s software translates into a return on investment through increased efficiency, reduced errors, and time saved. These benefits compound over time.
- Cost of errors and compliance issues: Human error can be costly. ChartRequest mitigates these risks, potentially saving healthcare facilities from expensive compliance violations. Plus, training new staff on HIPAA regulations costs a whopping $1,040.
- Long-term savings: ChartRequest’s efficiency and the ability to handle increased volume without more staffing become more pronounced over time.
ChartRequest’s true value lies in its sustained contribution to a healthcare facility’s financial health.
Embrace the Future of Healthcare ROI with ChartRequest
The role of a medical records clerk is crucial when it comes to managing protected health information. But it’s a function that can improve with the infusion of ROI technologies like ChartRequest.
Instead of hiring extra staff, augment your system and support your current staff with a robust ROI solution. Our platform easily aligns with your current needs for scalability and flexibility.
ChartRequest’s integration is seamless, its efficiency unmatched, and its approach to financial stewardship is of the highest caliber. We’re not just keeping up; we’re setting the pace of efficient health information exchange.
The future of healthcare beckons for innovation and adaptability. ChartRequest is at the forefront, ready to equip your facility with the tools it needs to excel in this dynamic environment.
Leap towards a more streamlined, secure, and cost-effective future.
Explore what ChartRequest can do for your Release of Information needs and contact us for a personalized demonstration. Don’t just meet the standards of tomorrow—define them.
With ChartRequest, transform potential into excellence.