The importance of managing your members’ health records cannot be overemphasized. Whether it's employees, medical professionals, or students at a university, these records are a crucial component of an organization's resource management strategy, and their proper management ensures that members are healthy, safe, and productive. However, managing medical and electronic health records well requires careful planning, implementation, and monitoring.
This article will break down everything you need to know about medical records management, from creating a record-keeping system to ensuring compliance with regulations.
Creating a Record-Keeping System
Creating a record-keeping system is the first step in managing members' medical records. The system should be organized, easy to use, and secure. When creating a record-keeping system, it is crucial to identify the types of medical records that will be kept and determine how they will be stored. This can include employee health histories, medical exam results, immunization records, and diagnostic and drug test results.
Once the types of records have been identified, the next step is to determine who will have access to the documents. Organizations should limit access to health information to authorized personnel, and strict security measures should be in place to prevent unauthorized access to electronic records. It is also essential to ensure that the record-keeping system complies with all relevant laws and regulations, such as HIPAA and FERPA.
Collecting and Maintaining Medical Records
Collecting and maintaining medical records is a critical component of a medical record management system. Health records should be collected during employment or enrollment and updated regularly to reflect member health status changes. It is vital to maintain accurate and up-to-date medical records management involves both ensuring that members are compliant while also protecting the organization from legal liability.
Records should be kept in a secure location, and access to managing medical records should be limited to authorized personnel. Using electronic medical records (EMR) solutions can make it easier for healthcare providers to collect and maintain medical records. EMRs can be accessed from any location with an internet connection and can be updated in real-time. However, ensuring that the EMR system is secure and complies with all relevant laws and regulations is important.
Providing Access to Medical Records
Providing access to medical records is essential to healthcare employee medical records management. Members have the right to access their medical records, and organizations have a responsibility to provide access in a timely manner.
Members should be informed of their right to access their medical records, and they should be provided with instructions on how to request access. Organizations should also have policies and procedures in place for responding to requests for access to medical records.
When you partner with a solution like Sentry MD, we ensure all release procedures follow HIPAA guidelines and appropriate logs are kept of released information.
Ensuring Compliance with Regulations
Ensuring compliance with regulations is critical to member medical records management. There are several federal laws and regulations that govern the collection, use, and disclosure of medical records, including HIPAA and FERPA. Ensuring the record-keeping system complies with all relevant laws and regulations is essential.
This includes ensuring that medical records are kept confidential, that access to records is limited to authorized personnel, and that appropriate security measures are in place to protect records from unauthorized access. Employers and healthcare providers should also have policies and procedures in place for responding to breaches of confidentiality and ensuring that employees are aware of their rights under relevant laws and regulations.
Retaining and Disposing of Medical Records
Retaining and disposing of medical records is an important part of your organization's electronic health record management process. Organizations should retain records for a specified period and be disposed of securely once the retention period has expired.
The retention period for medical records can vary depending on the type of record and the regulations that govern it. For example, OSHA requires that employee medical records be retained for the duration of employment plus 30 years, while HIPAA requires that medical records be retained for six years from the date of creation or last use. Reviewing the regulations that apply to your organization and establishing a retention policy that complies is essential to your organization's success.
Disposing of medical records should be done securely to protect employees' or students' privacy. This may include shredding paper records or securely erasing electronic health records. It is important to follow established procedures for disposing of personal health records and maintain a disposal history.
Training Staff on Medical Records Management
Training staff on medical records management is essential for ensuring they understand the importance of proper record-keeping and can carry out their responsibilities effectively. This includes training on how to collect and maintain records, how to provide access to documents, and how to ensure compliance with administrative regulations.
Training should be provided to all personnel who handle medical records, including human resources staff, supervisors, and medical personnel. It should be ongoing and should include updates on changes in regulations or policies that affect medical records management.
Implementing Audits and Quality Control Measures
Implementing audits and quality control measures is integral to healthcare employee medical records management. Audits can help to identify areas where the record-keeping system is not functioning effectively, such as gaps in record-keeping or instances of unauthorized access. Quality control measures can ensure that records are accurate and complete.
Audits should be conducted regularly and carried out by personnel independent of the record-keeping system. Quality control measures may include regular reviews of records to ensure that they are accurate and complete and periodic checks to ensure that all data security measures are in place and functioning effectively.
SentryMD: Your Records Management Solution
The housing of medical records is a complex undertaking that requires careful planning, implementation, and monitoring. Investing in a health record management solution like Sentry MD for your members will allow you access to state-of-the-art systems that help establish customized procedures for your organization.
Sentry MD can help with the following:
Collecting and maintaining medical records
Providing access to medical records
Unique and customized compliance reporting to determine compliance status.
Tracking requirement standards across many programs or sites
We offer three different integrations: API, SAML 2.0 SSO, and data exchange integrations through SFTP. These integrations provide a seamless transaction for creating employee accounts in mass and data exchanges to the employer database providing compliance information customized specifically for each client's needs.
Your organization or university can ensure that its employees or students are healthy, safe, and productive and that they comply with all relevant rules on an individual and program level.
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