If there’s any industry that demands an organized, methodical system for its document management, it’s healthcare, and Human Service Providers (HSP) in particular. HSPs provide support and services for individuals with a wide range of disabilities – in-home, clinical and other environments. On a whole, the HSP industry is going through a transition from paper-based systems that includes the tracking of credentials and continuing education, proof of billing, consumer outcomes, audit preparation and other key data collection requirements. Along with this transition, HSPs must have information security because most operate under HIPAA-compliant standards.
The right document management system will meet and even exceed the document security needs of HSPs while amplifying organizational efficiency. Here are three ways in which document management is now revolutionizing the way service providers perform their jobs and provide care.
1. An Emphasis on Interoperability for the Individual Provider
Interoperability is the ability of information and data to flow seamlessly between different systems and devices to benefit the service provider that is in the field. Interoperability focuses on the compatibility of data, connecting multiple systems and devices through a widely understood or more standardized means of communication.
The average field service provider is responsible for understanding the requirements of consumers under their care, what service is required, and what task is needed. But they also have other considerations including:
- Are outcome reports required and at what intervals are these reports needed?
- Is shared consumer history between providers critical to providing overall care for an individual consumer?
- Has a Major Unusual Instance (MUI) occurred and how do I report it under the state guidelines?
- How do I handle billing, which is time sensitive, and when does it need to be reported and how?
- How do I comply with Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) requirements?
- What is my schedule? Has it changed?
- Have I been asked to provide backup for another consumer and, if so, what is the history of that consumer and how does this change fit into my schedule?
All of these situations and tasks happen on a day-to-day basis. The majority of these are handled via paper or phone support but could be handled much more efficiently with a document management system that includes EVV.
One key aspect of interoperability is that today’s new provider-focused systems, through which the data and consumer files pass, are completely integrated with mobile applications and back-end Agency Management Systems.
Such a feature is critical to the modern HSP ecosystem, where an individual provider may need to communicate with multiple service providers and multiple providers may need to communicate or report to governing bodies to ensure compliance. Each of these providers and governing bodies are likely to have their own system and management practices, making it difficult to ensure the compatibility of data between the various systems, often leading to unnecessary duplication of effort and data entry. Therefore, an emphasis on interoperability boosts accessibility, ensuring that providers, individuals and governing bodies are able to access the necessary information to both acquire and provide the best care possible.
Such an emphasis is increasingly driving HSP organizations toward cloud-based products and services. These services are lean, efficient, and – best of all – easy to adopt across the industry. Therefore, while document management continues to receive greater attention in the HSP industry, interoperability will increase because organizations are adopting similar solutions. In other words, document management is revolutionizing the HSP industry by providing a comprehensive and semi-standardized method to keep various sources of data and information organized and accessible for the provider to increase care and favorable outcomes.
2. Security and Confidentiality Starts with the Provider
Security and confidentiality have always been major issues for HSP organizations that generate and receive a tremendous amount of documents and data containing protected information. Specifically, all personally identifiable information is highly sensitive and has a myriad of restrictions on access and sharing. Due to this sensitive nature, this protected health information, or PHI, has long been a lucrative target for malicious actors, and the FBI warns that medical records are more valuable to hackers than credit card numbers on the black market.
Leading document management solution providers are aware of the goldmine, which PHI constitutes, whether it’s manufacturing or healthcare. The major benefit of a best-practice document management system includes a powerful user and activity monitoring and recording system as well as enhanced security. As a result, document processes occur in an entirely digital environment that is constantly measured, monitored and protected 24/7 without the need for any manual efforts nor the need to carry around multiple manila folders containing reams of documentation.
Document management systems further enhance security and confidentiality for HSPs by requiring secure user authentication and encryption in-transit and at-rest. There’s no more worrying about where a physical document wandered or any uncertainty about any aspect of a document’s history.
3. A Rethinking of HIPAA Compliance in Providing In-Home Service
Despite its robust policies and procedures for creating a secure data environment, HIPAA was drafted when most healthcare processes still relied on paper charts and physical documents. However, electronic health records, or EHRs, are now the status quo in the HSP industry. First developed in 1992, they’ve become adopted industry-wide because of their interoperability and impact on service delivery.
While HIPAA has updated its guidelines to include policies for EHRs, it still fundamentally operates from the analog perspective. A key example of this includes the fact that HIPAA laws may vary from state to state. Whereas HIPAA is a federal mandate, states are often left to decide how stringent their interpretations will be. The result is that HIPAA compliance may vary between two states, which may pose a challenge to HSP organizations operating in both regions.
Many document management systems, however, are designed to exceed the most stringent interpretations of HIPAA to ensure that compliance is achieved. Likewise, as more HSPs shift toward the use of digital documents as a standard, it will catalyze the evolution and standardization of HIPAA interpretation in a digital document context.
4. What’s In It For the Individual Provider
By implementing a new Dedicated Human Service Provider Document Management solution you are transforming the way Providers deliver service and freeing up their time to deliver better and more effective service. The Provider is no longer spending hours at night inputting that day’s information, patient outcomes, billing information and potential Unusual Incidences (UI). The agency and county support staff no longer have to spend their valuable time inputting paper documents, correcting mistakes and chasing disparate information in different back-end systems.
Get the Next Generation of Document Management Systems
HSPs and organizations alike benefit from modern document management systems. These systems are designed to keep mission-critical documents accessible, yet secure, process-ready and compliant.
Intellinetics is a leading provider of cloud-based document management solutions for healthcare providers. Contact us today to discover what this technology can do for your organization.