Health Information Management

Tip of the week: Size up your forms before implementing an electronic document management system

HIM-HIPAA Insider, August 14, 2007

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By now you know that you must barcode all patient forms for scanning. But don't forget that before you start barcoding, and prior to implementing an electronic document management system (EDMS), you need to conduct a comprehensive forms inventory. Consider the following pointers:

  • Assign all of your forms to a standardized format (e.g., address in the same location, consistent number/placement of hole punches, ID numbers, etc.).
  • Do you have an active forms committee in place with strict control of new forms generation? If you are part of a multi-hospital facility, are policies and procedures standardized across facilities?
  • Finally, what is the current status of your bar codes? Are they present or missing in action? Some vendors may tell you that if you have 85% of your forms barcoded, that's good enough to go live. However, 99% is "good enough," and 100% is better.
  • If you don't have good forms control, start with that to improve, and recognize that you may still be one or two years away from being ready to install EDMS.

This tip was adapted from the August issue of Electronic Health Records Briefing. For more information, click here.



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