Processing healthcare release of information (ROI) requests manually is an expensive, time-consuming, and error-prone process. If a vital piece of patient information is missed or ignored, it could be a violation of legislation governing the transfer of protected health information (PHI), which carries severe consequences.
What Is Release Of Information (ROI) In Healthcare?
By “release of information,” we mean the disclosure of protected health information (PHI) to a designated recipient who is permitted by law to receive such data. Both federal and state rules regulate the process, which is made more onerous by the use of electronic records.
ROI solutions are equally important for health care. Long-term goals (discovering insights that will enhance the quality and lower the cost of healthcare) rely on short-term goals (ensuring patients get the care they need right now).
Why Are ROI Services So Important?
Patients’ medical records can be requested by those who are not immediate family. Certain steps must be taken before sending such materials due to HIPAA and HITECH regulations.
Getting the patient’s consent is the first stage. Verify that only the patient’s authorized personal health information is released by carefully reviewing each page of the requested record.
Accurate ROI work is essential for patients and healthcare professionals. For patients, it’s a matter of confidentiality and safety, and for healthcare practitioners, it’s a matter of following the rules and staying out of trouble.
Due to the exceptionally high level of expertise required, almost half of healthcare organizations outsource their ROI work to a third party. Because of the need to protect patients’ privacy and ensure that those who need access to their medical records may get it quickly, a number of businesses have sprung up to provide the necessary software and services.
The 5 Phases Of the ROI Process
Keep in mind that this is simply a high-level overview of the ROI procedure. A specialist in the release of medical records must check that specific criterion have been met before taking any further steps.
1. Record, Monitor, and Verify The Service Request
Two types of release of information forms exist: one for physical health and one for psychological health. In this case, the patient, not the requester, is the one making the inquiry. However, it may also be a party that has a vested interest in the outcome of the case, such as a lawyer, insurance company, or medical research facility. In the event that the person requesting is not the same as the interested party, the latter will need to go through the authorization process first.
A healthcare provider, such as your local hospital, shall be able to access your medical records if you fill out the Return of Information form. In the event that a healthcare provider receives a return on investment request, the request is immediately documented by the ROI office. Moreover, they check the authenticity of the permission.
2. Getting Your PHI Back
An ROI specialist does a search using the patient’s medical record number. Once the file is identified, the personnel evaluate whether it is stored in hard copy, microfilm, or electronically. This encompasses both physical and digital locations. It’s not uncommon to need to obtain all three formats from all three locations.
PHI (protected health information) is taken directly from your medical records and submitted to a release of information system. You will be informed if the database tracking tool is unable to discover your health records.
3. Safeguarding Your Individual Information
The responsibility of the ROI expert lies in the meticulous examination of each and every picture and page. The healthcare provider shall delete any patient records containing protected health information that it is not authorized to release. In such a case, the application is declined, and the database is updated accordingly.
If it doesn’t, the ROI professional will verify that all of the content in your file was created by you and not stolen from elsewhere. Also, make sure the dates listed for the services are accurate.
Once the request and approval have been completed, a scanned copy of each is entered into the tracking software. Also included in the medical records set are any photographs or paper records. The paper chart is then reassembled and filed away.
4. Releasing Your PHI
Before giving you any information, the ROI professional verifies that it is indeed yours. In this procedure, they will use your SSN and DOB to verify your identification. The diagnosis is also used to guarantee the patient receives the appropriate therapy instructions.
The correct Protected Health Information is incorporated after a thorough quality evaluation performed by the ROI division. Consequently, the records are of the right variety and time period, as confirmed by a second ROI expert. They also make sure the papers are standing up straight.
5. Completing Your Request And Sending Invoice
The process concludes with the ROI expert carefully examining all of the data. Pricing is determined in accordance with applicable state laws. Once everything is ready, they will package it up and send it in the mail.
They can also send you the paperwork via a secure online medium, such as email.
The steps involved in making information public are complex. Hence, an electronic health information exchange provider can be extremely useful for ROI departments in figuring out how to comply with HIPAA regulations.
They greatly improve the procedure’s efficacy for both patients and doctors. However, state-of-the-art safeguards ensure that these services are always safe to use. As a result, no one who shouldn’t have access to your PHI will be able to see it, and it won’t fall into the wrong hands.