How to Deal with Your Backlog of Patient Record Requests

 In Customer Service, Medical Records, Operations

When your daily schedule is filled with appointments, it means you spend most of your day talking to patients and their families. Reaching the end of the day should mean that you can lock up the office and head home. But in the healthcare industry, there are often stacks of paperwork waiting to be addressed.

Record Request Backlog

Do you have a hard time keeping up with administrative tasks and responsibilities? Some of the most significant issues contributing to the backlog of paperwork are the non-stop information requests from patients and other providers. Patients have the right to request their records, but there is often a bottle-neck in this process since strict verification and privacy protocols must be followed.

How long have some of these requests been sitting on an office desk, waiting for completion? Too often, this backlog leads to paperwork that is weeks (or even months!) overdue. It can be heard for healthcare organizations to keep up with the volume, especially when the requests keep coming in each day.

Solutions to Deal with a Backlog

While it might be tempting to put your request backlog at the bottom of your priority list, procrastinating this issue could lead to more significant problems in the future. If you can’t keep up with the volume, then it’s time to reorganize and create a new system that will help you get caught up. Then, you can be proactive about staying ahead of incoming requests in the future.

Consider these tips to help you deal with your request backlog:

  1. Hire a vendor for help: Find an ROI vendor who may help you in the short term. This provider can offer the support you need to handle the paperwork and get compliant as quickly as possible. When choosing a vendor, you need to find a provider who can support you in getting through the backlog first. Next, you’ll need help creating a workflow to be sure it doesn’t happen again. When you consider the related costs, it’s common to see how an outsourced solution is an excellent investment to maintain compliance and avoid expensive risks related to ROI and PHI.
  2. Communicate with requesters: Be honest with your requesters about the situation. These people might not understand the delay in receiving their records, which results in a problem that could cause undue stress for everyone involved – including the patient and staff member dealing with the requester.
  3. Assess the reality of your situation: If you are going to get ahead of the backlog, you need to know the amount of work that lies ahead. Estimate how significant your backlog is and put a timeline of the delays you are experiencing. For example, how many days, weeks, and months are you behind on outstanding requests? How many requests are waiting to be released right now?

Immediate Action to Create Better Organization in the Future

One of the biggest problems with an ROI backlog is that it feels impossible to get ahead. Even if you are proactive about processing requests each day, new requests keep coming in. If you want organization in the future, you need to be sure that you are clearing the backlog right now. You can then move forward with a clean slate and a proven system to stay ahead of future requests.

It’s a necessary and valuable investment to create a system that enables you to process requests timely, efficiently, and accurately. Not only are you complying with HIPAA regulations, but the right ROI processes will relieve the stress your staff is currently experiencing. If you’d like to learn more about proven systems for ROI management, then talk to our team at RecordQuest.

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