Health Information Management

Don't succumb to off-site, out-of-mind record storage

HIM Briefings, March 1, 2010

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Space is at a premium for many hospitals. There simply isn't enough space on most campuses to store all of the organization's business and medical records. "You can't even find a conference room to hold a meeting half the time, let alone where you're going to store files for 10 years," says Monica Pappas, RHIA, president of MPA Consulting, Inc., in Long Beach, CA.

The problem of storage is unlikely to go away any time soon. The paper problem is going to be around for a long time as hospitals transition from paper to hybrid to electronic records, Pappas says, noting that many facilities with EHRs still store scanned images for a period of time.

Thus, many facilities turn to an outside vendor to store their records. But they should do so carefully, advises Rose T. Dunn, RHIA, CPA, FACHE, FHFMA, chief operating officer of First Class Solutions, Inc., in St. Louis. By taking appropriate precautions and educating yourself before entering into a record storage contract with a vendor, you can protect against hidden costs and other risks.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to HIM Briefings.

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