NowForms - Document Management

Friday, April 11, 2008

NowForms and HIPAA Compliance

Medical practitioners and healthcare entities such as doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, HMOs, and pharmacies can utilize document management software such as NowForms to achieve compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

HIPAA is a federal guideline that aims to ensure that patient information and records are protected and maintain their integrity. HIPAA establishes access restrictions on patient information and records, and directs organizations to store and manage sensitive medical information using appropriate, structured, and safe measures.

HIPAA consists of three elements:

  • Transactions element: designed to get users to submit claims electronically — this does not apply to a document management application such as NowForms.
  • Privacy element: designed to protect patients’ medical details.
  • Security element: designed to allow authorized access to patient information and records.

Is HIPAA Relevant to My Organization?
HIPPA is relevant to your organization if you are a healthcare provider, clearinghouse, or payer. A healthcare provider may be a hospital, clinic, nursing home, private practice, dentist, or a supplier to a healthcare provider. A clearinghouse may be a provider of billing service, a re-pricing company, or any other value-added network. More to the point, you need to address HIPAA if you are a US-based healthcare organization.

Implementing HIPAA
To be HIPAA compliant your organization needs to satisfy the intent of the law. You must have the mechanism in place that guarantees safe electronic storage, access, and transmission of patient records.

Organizations, rather than software, need to comply with HIPAA. However, you can use NowForms to aid your organization’s efforts to become HIPAA compliant.

Document management systems such as NowForms address the largest element of HIPAA — the management and security aspects of patient records. You should keep in mind that the overall aspects of HIPAA will require dealing with issues that are beyond the scope of any document management system.

Learn more about document management features and how they support compliance.


Statistics on Paper and Filing

  1. The average U.S. executive wastes six weeks per year retrieving misplaced information from desks or files. At a yearly salary of $75,000, this can translate to 12.3 percent of total earnings.
  2. 90% of all documents handled each day are merely shuffled.
  3. It costs $120 in labor to track down a misplaced document or $250 to recreate it.
  4. Over 800 million pages are created from computer printouts per day, enough to fill a file drawer 225 miles long.
  5. Despite visions of a paperless office, 80-90% of all information in the average office is still maintained on paper.
  6. 80% of filed papers are never referenced again. 50% of all filed materials are duplicates or expired information.
  7. Experience continues to show that 30%-40% of all recorded information can be immediately deleted from electronic systems or paper systems.
  8. In every survey taken over the last 20 years, managing paperwork falls in the top ten time-wasting activities.
  9. Just introducing email into an office increases paper printing by 40%.
  10. Workgroups lose 15% of all documents they handle and spend 30% of their time trying to find lost documents. 7.5% of all documents are lost and never retrieved.


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