Q. What is records management?
Records management allows for the storing of confidential client records.
There are 3 types of records that you can store, they are:
- physical records
- electronic records
- data records
Physical records are records that exist in a physical form and are stored at a specific location. When you store a physical record within the records manager you are making an "index" of that record. The software is saving a placeholder, if you will, of the existence of that record.
For example, a dental office may have a large collection of records that are kept in folders. By saving an index of those records, you have an electronic index of the records. Some medical professions are required by law to keep inventory of their physical records and this record type allows you to do that.
Electronic records are records that are uploaded to the records manager. They may include:
- xray imagining
- dental imaging
- scanned reports
- text documents
- audio files
- video files
These records exist as electronic data and can be easily added to the records manager through an uploading process.
Data records are records that are "typed into the software." These records are added to the records manager when a user is logged into the software and chooses to create a data record.
The records manager does more than store records. It's also responsible for the following:
- provides a safe and secure location for potentially sensitive information
- provides complete auditing of records
- provides complete auditing of user interactions with records
- provides complete auditing of user interactions within the records manager
- provides notifications with respect to retention / deletion of records (retention strategy)
- provides strategies and reporting for HIPAA and InfoSec compliance (reporting strategies and compliance strategies)
Many medical industries are mandated by law to be compliant with respect to the security of patient records. The records manager is a must for these businesses.
Even those industries that do not have compliance laws are benefited by such a tool. For example, tutoring companies can store information on students that arise from school progress reports, teacher anecdotal records, and tutor assessments. In addition, these records can be shared between the "circle of care" of users quickly and easily if permission is granted.
Security is a major component of the records manager. The ability to access records management is two-fold. First there is a per user permission and secondly there is record specific permissions. Each type of permission can limit access, limit the addition and editing of records, and limit the ability to delete records. The administrator can create a security environment that exactly matches their needs and purposes.
You can use the records manager to store information on clients, or provide information to your clients. You can upload policies and procedures to a client's records and allow them to view the information. If you require ongoing documents from your clients, you can request they provide the information by adding the records themselves to their account.