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There was a time when charts and other patient records were completely paper based. The thousands upon thousands of records grew into millions and became incredibly burdensome to the physical footprint of Penn State Health’s facilities. Managing all this paper required arduous processes and extensive manual labor resulting in expensive overhead and ongoing training costs for new employees. There was also a major disconnect with the electronic medical record (EMR) system which had been implemented in Penn State Health’s physician clinics. The new system was there, but the records were still paper based offering limited visibility and time wasted in retrieving patient records.
“Prior to Access, our records were completely paper-based. Our process was labor intensive and systems were limited.”Tony Wood, HIM Program Manager
The organization knew it had reached a point where documents needed to convert to digital, and into a system that would help manage an ongoing and scalable process. The task ahead was daunting, but Penn State Health had a trusted partnership with Access and turned to them to manage the transition. The project to convert hundreds of thousands of paper records to digital required expertise in security, chain of custody and regulatory requirements that Access was ready to provide.
To prepare for the implementation of its initial electronic medical record (EMR) solution within its physician clinics, the organization developed a strategy for scanning patient records using internal resources and ultimately leveraged Access for the rest
An entire file room of floor space opened up in the health and information management (HIM) department, which provided new space that now houses 20 to 30 HIM workers. In addition, a football field’s worth of storage in the basement freed up, which provided crucial resources to focus on training the staff on day-forward and EMR processes. The new process eliminated the need to hire additional resources to manage the paper system.
The health and information management department was able to save the company a significant amount of money by going digital. Physicians were no longer required to request the retrieval of documents, which also saved time, as they were now able to access vital patient records regardless of their location.
Penn State Health continues to work towards better program insights and ROI metrics by collaborating with Access and leveraging the FileBRIDGE® Records platform. Identifying and analyzing how often charts are requested and how long documents need to be retained will continue to provide value to the teams at PennState Health.
Penn State Health, a world-class healthcare provider, needed a partner that could provide a scalable records and information program that met their unique needs.
Penn State Health is largely digital now and the HIM team has online access to their inventory and order processing. Access has been a partner of Penn State Health and their records management program for over 20 years and has packed, picked up, transported and inventoried over 1.4 million records across 40 different locations . With over 800 file requests processed on a monthly basis, records are delivered electronically to their RIM (records and information management) and ECM platforms. Access continues to support and streamline acquisition processes through the FileBRIDGE Records platform and other business processes.