Yesterday I had a chance to meet with our Medical Records Processing team. We have a great team and we had a very good discussion. Barb B., the Regional Director shared a couple success stories. The success stories were both around helping get the documentation and charts ready for coding.
Recently we needed to make a change in reducing our time of scanning documents after date of service to viewable scanned images to support a shorter coding goal. This new scan goal was established so that we could have the charts available to the coders in a shorter time from discharge to assist in reducing the time from being coded to bill drop. Therefore, we put the issue before the Record Processing Team and asked for their input on what we as the scan team do to reduce the time from discharge to scanned image.
The team jumped in with solutions. One staff person is now going up to the units and gathers part of the charts for patients discharged when she gets in at 5 a.m. instead of waiting for the regular staff person who comes in at 8 to bring the charts down at 9. This allows staff coming into work at 6:30 to start the prep sooner and allowed for one team member who can begin the scanning as soon as some charts are prepped. This adjustment in the process now starts about 4 hours earlier in the day. The staff discussed and implemented a plan to assist the person who took on the chart pick up with some of her regular duties so that those duties did not fall behind. Thus we have meet our new scan goal for 4 consecutive weeks.
The second scenario was that everyone in Record Processing is being made aware of what physicians that we need to complete documentation that is need for the code team to be able to final code and drop the bill. We monitor that list physicians, communicate in person and via faxes to the doctors office that we need that doctor to complete documentation so that the coders can do the coding and drop the bill. Everyone is made aware of that list and is on the watch for what charts need to be completed for this purpose, we flag the charts as priority so that when that doctor comes in he/she knows it the dictation is needed ASAP. We then communicate with Transcription to let them know when the report has been dictated and then transcription notifies the coding staff when it is available for viewing.
Thank you Barb and Vicki for your leadership. Your team truly helps make SJMC the preferred place for physicians to practice medicine.