7 Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Records Retrieval

As a healthcare provider, you have a lot of key initiatives competing for your time, energy and focus. Your staff is slammed, your patients are expecting an increasingly digital experience and you’re ready to just hide under your desk with your favorite snack to get away from it all. The last thing you want to think about is changing processes…right?

We find that many practices and hospitals handle their own medical record requests because it feels easier than outsourcing. But what if we told you that outsourcing medical record retrieval services would actually make your life easier? And better?

Outsourcing your release of information (ROI) is fast, painless and has immediate benefits for your healthcare organization. Here are 7 things that happen when you outsource your record request process:

1. Your patient satisfaction goes up.

Record requests are a critical contributor to patient satisfaction. Often times patients who need records are going through a challenging time: an injury, an upcoming surgery, a death in the family. Emotions are already heightened, and challenges with medical record retrieval can quickly cause your patient satisfaction scores to plummet. HealthMark has an average record turnaround time of 8 business hours for the majority of requests, and all requests are managed by a kind, compassionate and highly responsive team. Plus, we never charge patients for access to their health records.

2. You never have to worry about sick days or vacations.

One of the biggest benefits of outsourcing medical records requests is the improvement in reliability. When you outsource record requests, you immediately go from a team of one or two employees to a team of hundreds of people dedicated to processing patient records. You no longer have to worry about sick days or vacation days – there’s always someone available and actively working on your requests.

3. Your staff can spend time in ways that have a greater impact.

Managing health record requests is an administrative burden – it involves a lot of manual, repetitive, clerical work. When you outsource this function, it frees up your team members to focus on more important patient-related and revenue-generating activities. Wouldn’t you rather have your staff focused on patient care instead of in a back-room processing record requests?

4. You save money.

We talk to so many organizations who believe they are making money on record retrieval, but an audit of their costs vs. revenue quickly proves otherwise. Yes, you may be collecting fees for some of your record requests, but the associated costs, materials and resources required to collect those fees often far outweigh any revenue, leaving your practice operating at a deficit when it comes to managing record requests.

5. Your phone calls regarding record requests drop to zero.

Setting aside the time it takes for the actual processing of medical record requests, there are also questions from patients that must be addressed. Partners like HealthMark become part of your phone tree, answering patient on behalf of your healthcare facility. Just think of the time you’ll save on phone calls alone!

6. Your HIPAA compliance risk drops significantly.

Each health record contains sensitive patient data protected by HIPAA regulations and unauthorized disclosure of healthcare data is a serious risk. When you handle record requests internally, that risk goes up as your process is likely tied to a single person or a handful of people (it’s often how a medical facility end up on the OCR’s notorious “Wall of Shame”). HealthMark leverages a combination of human review and machine learning to perform four quality control checks on every single request, significantly reducing your organization’s risk of unauthorized disclosures of patient medical data.

7. You can start experiencing benefits in days, not months (or years!).  

The words implementation and electronic medical record (EMR) integration often inspire fear in the hearts of HIM managers and healthcare professionals. You’re thinking months of work, hours upon hours of testing and endless frustration. But that’s not the case with record requests! A standard implementation only takes about 90 minutes of your time, with the entire process complete in an average of just 10 days. No big scary implementations here!

This is a busy time of year for you and your patients – and your life can be easier by making this simple change to how you handle patient record requests. Don’t wait. You can start 2023 as a new person who doesn’t have any worries related to record requests!  

Where do you want to start?

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and we’ll match you with the right expert to help you optimize your patient information.