Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality (OFMQ) announced recently it has created a modernized medical records management system that will benefit doctors and patients alike.
Oklahoma law requires doctors to store and maintain patient medical records for no less than six years, but it does not provide guidance for complying with this mandate. Many physicians struggle with how to safely store and access these records which can lead to ill-advised storage practices and create significant liability for retiring doctors.
OFMQ has partnered with Edmond-based MIDCON Data Services to provide secure and streamlined patient medical record storage and retrieval for physicians who retire, close their practices or move elsewhere.
"When physicians retire or close their practices, they need a protected method for storing medical records that also provides convenient access for former patients and other authorized parties,” said Gregg Koehn, OFMQ CEO. "We have partnered with MIDCON to create a service that will be simple for doctors and user-friendly for patients.”
Whether file or EMR-based the new OFMQ program provides secure, organized storage of electronic and hard-copy medical records.
"The program complies with all state and federal regulations governing medical records, including HIPAA,” said Jan Webb, OFMQ case review manager. "Their facilities are secure and meet all HIPAA requirements while maintaining the highest levels of confidentiality and security.”
In addition to securely storing the documents, OFMQ manages all Release of Information requests for the records in its care. Such requests are common and can include continuity of care requests from medical facilities and physicians, legal requests, records requests from government agencies and insurance companies, patient requests, law enforcement inquiries and authorized third-party reviews.
Koehn said improved medical records maintenance will also benefit patients who need access to old medical files from a former doctor.
"Physicians aren’t the only beneficiaries of this service,” Koehn said. "A patient’s new doctor can have more immediate access to the patient’s full medical history in order to make the most-informed medical diagnosis. Patients will also benefit from quicker access to records that might be needed for a variety of purposes, like insurance issues.”
As part of the program, OFMQ can help physicians with record indexing to ensure any records that were previously misfiled are accurately corrected. MIDCON will also assist physicians with the destruction of records when required and authorized by applicable state and federal laws. Additionally, MIDCON’s facilities include space that allows authorized parties requesting to review records in person to do so in private.
"With our system, physicians can accommodate records requests regarding former patients in a secure and convenient manner for years to come,” said Randy Allen, MIDCON CEO. "MIDCON’s established and proven processes ensure legal compliance, security and confidentiality of medical records, which benefit physicians and patients.”
A nonprofit health care consulting services company, OFMQ has been committed to advancing the quality of health care and improving lives since 1972.
MIDCON Data Services is a closely-held, private data management and storage company.