Details of Physicians Group Medical Records Conversion Announced by HOV Services

by Tanya Thomas on Oct 21 2008 10:17 AM

Designed specially for physician groups, HOV Services (HOVS) recently revealed its details of its medical records capture and conversion services. HOVS is one of the largest providers of business process and knowledge process outsourcing solutions.

Among its other practice areas, HOVS offers a suite of integrated Business Process Outsourcing solutions to manage the entire revenue cycle for healthcare providers and the end-to-end claims administration, adjudication and presentment process for healthcare payers.

According to a U.S. government survey released in 2006, less than a quarter of physicians nationwide had reported using any kind of electronic medical record. The migration to an electronic medical record is well underway, being driven by government pressure and the need to securely safeguard patient privacy. Yet the issue of converting existing paper-based records to electronic format as part of an electronic medical records implementation typically remains overlooked.

Ed Katz, SVP of Marketing at HOV Services and an EHR subject matter expert said, "Physicians are constantly getting requests to share files with other healthcare providers, such as hospitals, laboratories and specialists as well as insurance companies, so their need for electronic files is indisputable. The problem is that even the most forward-thinking physicians groups preparing to adopt an EHR haven't considered how they'll convert their existing files. Rather than for physicians groups to divert patient-facing resources to scanning paper files, many are turning to HOV Services as an integral part of their EHR migration plans."

Iowa Health Physicians, a group of approximately 300 physicians and allied providers serving patients across Iowa and western Illinois, wanted to migrate from paper to electronic records. HOV Services developed a solution for the clinics that converted active paper charts - averaging 3,000 active charts daily - into Touchworks EHR records within 24 hours. Several of the clinics within the group are also taking advantage of storing all inactive charts in HOVS' document storage facility. Charts are pulled, scanned and loaded into the EHR system within 24 hours of being defined as inactive, yet remain available when necessary.

Pure Clinical decisions improve when electronic health records are used, including the avoidance of medication errors and improved preventative care. Having the history within the EHR enhances this outcome. Additionally, insurers and hospitals save money as a result of less paper handling and administration expenses when receiving electronic medical records from doctors' offices.

Ironically, the burden to implement electronic medical records falls mainly on the doctors. Whereas, large physicians groups have more readily moved to electronic medical records systems, smaller practices (fewer than 50 physicians) are still considering the move.

"Our relationship with HOV Services has been vital to the success of our transition from paper medical records to electronic medical records. HOV Services' management and staff have been engaged in the project and continue to focus on improving the scanning process. I feel HOVS is a true partner in our electronic medical record project" said Gina Ross, Director of Project or Risk Management Iowa Health Physicians.