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MOBILE, Ala. -- At USA Health, the Medical Records Department has become Health Information Management (HIM), completing a transition that began several years ago.
While medical records still comprises a large part of the department’s duties, the new name reflects its numerous roles and services. Among other duties, HIM is responsible for ensuring appropriate reimbursement for the medical services that are provided as well as ensuring compliance with local, state and federal regulatory requirements. Staff members issue birth and death certificates and can help parents of newborns apply for social security numbers.
The department facilitates continuity of care by ensuring that follow-up documentation is sent to primary care physicians and clinics. Because of the more descriptive codes that are now assigned to each record, employees in the HIM Department are able to work in tandem with physicians and other health care providers by supplying valuable research and educational material. HIM staff members also assist patients by making available free online access to portions of their medical records.
At USA Health, members of the Health Information Management team are working to streamline and standardize the electronic health records of its hospitals and facilities, which include USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, USA Medical Center, Mitchell Cancer Institute and the USA Physicians Group. Currently, there are more than five different electronic medical record systems in use within the system.
By being under the same USA Health umbrella, medical staff, with appropriate permissions, can access patient records from across the system. Similar policies and procedures also result in less confusion for health care members, both internal and external, and ultimately, better service for patients.
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