Health Information Management

Tip of the week: Don't base your ROI production rate on other facilities

HIM-HIPAA Insider, May 28, 2007

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Working with a hybrid record is new, and it's hard to know how many charts you should expect release of information (ROI) staff members to complete every hour. "More" often seems like the inevitable answer, but experts in the field say there are ways to narrow down the answer to a specific number that staff members should be able to meet.

The trick, they say, is that the magic number comes from analyzing your own particular situation, not just trying to match the completion rate of ROI staff members in other facilities.

Determining how all of the factors unique to your organization combine to establish a reasonable expectation for staff output requires research and number crunching. The process is much the same as the one used for determining productivity goals for coders.

Consider the following advice for finding your own, unique magic number:

  • First, make sure you've waited long enough to establish a pattern. If you're using a new hybrid record, wait six to eight weeks before collecting data. That will give everyone time to get accustomed to, and in their comfort zones with, the new systems.
  • Collect actual production records for at least two, and preferably three, pay periods, along with the number of hours worked. If a staff member had other time demands, such as a two-hour inservice one day, that time should be deducted from the hours worked. But do not deduct regular break times.
  • Multiply the number of hours worked by 60 to get the total number of minutes worked. Divide that figure by the number of staff doing ROI. That will produce the average minutes per record. Determine the average for the team.
  • The average can be seen as a minimally acceptable production figure for each staffer. However, it is important to establish a stretch goal. That can be the midpoint between the team average and the highest producer.
Editor's note: This tip was adapted from an article in the June 2007 issue of Electronic Health Records Briefing. For more information, click here.

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