Medical practices face an uphill battle when it comes to records storage. From complying with government regulations to staffing issues to simply running out of space, storing medical records in-house is a big challenge. Most practices quickly discover that offsite medical records storage may be the best solution to contain costs and secure files. In their efforts to ensure patient safety and reduce liabilities, we’ve found that medical practices struggle with the following records management problems.
A large, disorganized file room causes staff to waste time searching for records, especially when they’ve been misfiled. Storing and digitally archiving records offsite improves productivity and eliminates the risk of filing errors. Let your medical records storage provider handle records retrieval to free up your staff for more important tasks.
State and Federal Regulations
The government is clear on what information can be shared and what data must be protected under HIPAA laws. When you store patient records in-house, you put each one of those files at risk for a data breach, theft, or loss. As the medical provider, you’re responsible for safely storing massive amounts of data, which means you could face liabilities if it were to be released to the wrong person. Rather than keep these records onsite, you should move them to a secure offsite storage facility and consider scanning them for easier archiving.
Space is probably in short supply in your office, and maintaining a large file room may not be feasible. In fact, storing all of your patient records onsite could lead to having to relocate to a larger office. That would mean paying overhead costs on space that doesn’t earn revenue. When you outsource your medical records storage to an offsite location, you can utilize that space more efficiently, expand if necessary, and lower operating costs.
In-House Storage Risks
Virtually everyone who enters your practice is another liability to consider. Employees can accidentally leave files out or leave the file room unlocked for anyone to enter. This gives temporary workers, repair companies, and even vendors an opportunity to access, review, and take confidential patient records. You can eliminate all of these risks when medical records storage is managed offsite. You also don’t have to worry about untrained temporary staff mishandling files.
Patient files may be kept forever, but some business-related documents can be destroyed after records retention periods of seven and ten years. These older files need to be destroyed properly, and are often at higher risk for identity theft when they aren’t protected as well as more recent documents. A medical records storage solution can include setting a destruction schedule for all of your files. Your records management company can shred these files when they reach their destruction date and properly dispose of the materials to avoid any risk for identity theft in the future.
Admiral Records Management provides secure offsite records storage for small medical offices and large hospitals alike. From digital archiving to help you find patient files faster to relocating your entire office, we have the records management services your practice needs to run more efficiently. Admiral takes the guesswork out of understanding compliance requirements so you can focus on your patients.
Visit Admiral Records Management to learn more about our medical records storage solutions and to schedule your free consultation online. You can also call 877.816.5430 to speak with one of our records management experts.
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