Anatomic pathology and clinical laboratories based groups that have been looking for procedures to improvise the overall customer experience need to provide high priority for ensuring patients get accurate, easy, and fast access to self-health records. This would surely set these groups apart from several hospital health service providers if a recent study conducted by the Yale University School of Medicine has served as a proper indicator.
The researchers at Yale evaluated medical records from August 1 to December 7 for the year 2017 as well as the processing policies by 83 top ranking hospitals that have been located at 29 different states. It was noted that patients that have been attempting to acquire copies of self-medical records at various hospitals generally experience confusing hurdles and unnecessary issues.
The research also located serious issues of non-compliance with Health Insurance Portability as well as Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). The researchers published a complete report of the same at JAMA Network Open which is a medical journal that is published by Journal of the American Medical Association. Carolyn Lye, Yale School of Medicine’s medical student and study’s lead author stated that there were several inconsistencies with information that was relayed to the patients with regards to PHI. The research also noted that there was considerable noncompliance with federal and state regulations. This was also true for recommendations with regards to processing time and costs associated with provisioning access to their medical records.
The researchers followed a set to a protocol to complete their research. They acquired forms for release authorization from hospitals after calling each of the medical institute’s department of medical records. During this simulated experience for patients, the researchers questioned hospital policies with regards to request-able information. This section included complete medical records, lab test results, discharge summaries, medical history, consultation reports, and physician orders.
Not just this, the team also gathered information with regards to the available release paper formats such as mail, e-mail, fax, in-person pick-up, online portal, CD, etc. This was followed by an in-depth check of costs related to obtaining records as well as the processing time. The team located inconsistencies amid information provided at forms for written authorization with a simulated telephone call for patients. This also pointed to the fact that there was a lack in the transparency of the process. The fees exceeded federal recommendations with very few adhering to the set limit.