The medical industry routinely conducts self-analysis to understand how it can better serve patients. Often, these conversations center on bedside manner, nurse staffing, or revolutionary drugs. Occasionally a savvy hospital will recognize that hospital administrators spend more than doctors do with patients. In fact, medical record technicians can play a major part in improving health outcomes for patients and making the process as seamless as possible. Here are three ways these professionals contribute to a more responsive and effective hospital.
Record organization for better emergency care
It's one of the realities of the healthcare world that speed is often just as important as quality. When people are hurting, every minute wasted is another minute a person has to endure discomfort. Doctors who work in emergency or trauma will attest that quick access to well-organized medical records is critical if they want to save lives. A medical record technician takes care of this, populating and managing the patient's record so doctors, nurses, and other members of the diagnostic team can make recommendations quickly. When patients move on to a specialist or just to another doctor, record techs ensure the right information gets in the hands of the right people so quality of care is not compromised.
Digitizing records to cut down on waiting times
Some of the biggest complaints about the patient experience comes as a result of extremely long waiting times. In some cases, these delays are due to a hospital being stuck in the early 20th century. If hospitals haven't yet digitized their record systems, they can lose time with excessive filing, search, and scanning. Medical record technicians ensure that these systems are up to modern standards. By making it easier for people to input their information, these techs streamline the entire process and leave people waiting for shorter periods in those uncomfortable sitting rooms.
Proper coding and billing to avoid future disputes
Few things are worse than receiving a big, incorrect bill after leaving a hospital thinking everything was finished. Patients might look at their bill and say, "I didn't get a colonoscopy this time!" While it's usually possible to rectify these errors, that process can take time and expose patients to undue stress. The better option is getting it right the first time so everyone can walk away from the treatment process feeling good about what took place. An experienced medical record technician can ensure these preventable billing errors don't turn into a component of a bad patient experience.
Medical record technicians typically take a role in the background, getting far less exposure and attention than the doctors and nurses who have television shows made about them. They're important to the patient experience, though, doing the little things that can turn a difficult trip to the doctor into something you can feel good about. These people bring organizational skills and a knowledge of technology that's critical to helping medical professionals provide the level of care patients expect. Aren't you glad there's a person in the background taking care of the little things so your doctors can cure the big things?