Health Information Management

Tip of the week: Five tips for obtaining management support for improving timeliness of records completion

HIM-HIPAA Insider, June 18, 2007

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The Joint Commission standard IM.6.10 states that hospitals must have a complete and accurate medical record for patients assessed, cared for, treated, or served. Element of performance eight under this standard states that the hospital must have a policy and procedure on the timely entry of all significant information into the patient's medical record.

Consider the following tips to gain management support and improve record timeliness:

  • As part of the medical records-tracking system, produce regular reports showing the number of days after discharge that records are completed.
  • Keep basic records completion data in a database. Present that information to the committee/team in charge of medical records timeliness so it has an ongoing look at completion cycles. Implement a computerized tracking system.
  • Present such information graphically. It's generally more meaningful to the committee in that form.
  • Compare delinquency percentages to patient volume so offenders stand out.
  • Provide pleasant, clean, and neat areas in which physicians can complete records. Paint the walls. Try not to have stacks of records lying around.

For more tips on how to improve record timeliness, refer to HCPro's book Ongoing Records Review, Fifth Edition. For more information, click here.

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