Thoughts on the future of Health Information and Patient records

April 4, 2008 – 12:17 pm

Over the last decade, the evolution towards the electronic patient record shows that, over time, documentation habits change either through regulations and standards or through user/client preferences. This is a slow but sure process, that we see in action today, even with all the challenges that face standardization and implementation of regulations.

Until a decade back, there were few regulations and standards that MTs and their employers had to meet. However, Patient and Practitioner concerns over privacy and data security in our age of Information Technology soon led to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Several observers felt that HIPAA would not have an effect on the medical transcription industry, due to the sheer magnitude of adherence to process and focus on data security and integrity that is required for the implementation of HIPAA industry-wide. Some Transcription Service Providers were concerned a few years back that the majority of the transcription industry would not be able to meet several specific HIPAA requirements: policies and procedures, access controls and audits of access to patient information.
All this is has slowly changed with employers beginning to demand HIPAA compliance and in many instances changing employees, vendors and contractors when they don’t get it.

The demands to enhance patient safety and increase efficiency while reducing costs for users, will ensure that it becomes mandatory for service providers and healthcare practices to migrate to a HIPAA compliant environment.

The buck doesn’t stop there though. The evolution and change will continue. The best people in the business will identify, promote and grow new technologies in health information management in order to build their business through creating value for their clients. Some have adopted technologies such as application service provider (ASP) services or have developed web applications in-house, to move away from less convenient methods like FTP to provide access and archiving of Medical Documents to their clients. We are happy to note here that i-Script has provided its own Document Delivery web application, Scriptase© to its clients for some years now, free of cost.

Newer delivery/sharing methods and technologies that focus on Health Information Management will soon come into play. (Watch out for i-Script’s own Health Information Management initiative, Scriptase Exchange©, in the coming months)

That isn’t all; maybe the future will bring medical coding embedded within documentation, thus saving cost. Its going to be fun!

We will continue to explore and report trends in Health Information and Patient records connected to MT analyzing associated client benefits. Watch this space.

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