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St. Elizabeths Hospital: Solving a Daunting Records Management Challenge

The Problem

St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C., needed to vacate its nine medical records locations, address a serious filing backlog, and ensure compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and HIPAA. In addition, the hospital had not purged its inactive files in many years. Given these problems, maintaining the file room had become extremely difficult and retrieving folders was nearly impossible. With approximately 60,500 linear inches of records stored without an effective filing method, St. Elizabeths faced a daunting task.

The Solution

The hospital enlisted AMES Professional File Services to help solve its record management problems. The facility’s HIM Department knew it needed support — not only with labor, but also project and resource management. They banked on AMES unmatched reputation for effectively managing multi-tiered projects. After meeting with hospital management, AMES proposed a strategy to meet the hospital’s needs efficiently and cost effectively:

  1. Reviewed patient histories with SmartPurge data analysis to identify active records
  2. Estimated needed shelving capacity
  3. Consolidated nine file rooms and relocated records to a new location
  4. Boxed inactive records and indexed them for offsite storage
  5. Created a unified terminal digit filing system for the entire facility
  6. Provided professional and technical staff, software, shelving, and filing products
  7. Trained St. Elizabeths’ personnel on how to manage and operate the system

The Results

AMES product and services enabled St. Elizabeths to:

  • Meet HIPAA, CMS, and fire code regulations
  • Archive their inactive records
  • Create more shelf space for active files to prevent misfiled or lost records
  • Create patient records quicker and more legibly using on-demand, color-coding labeling software
  • Improve filing accuracy, reduce misfiles, and increase accessibility to files