X-Ray Film Scanners and Digitizers, X-Ray Film Scanning Services and Software
Is Your Scanning Service HIPAA Compliant?posted Apr-30-2015
Whether you’re looking to have old X-ray film or paper medical records scanned (or both!) one of the first things you need to look for is a HIPAA compliant scanning service. Many healthcare organizations decide to move to Electronic Medical Records (EMR), without considering how they will go about converting their analog records to digital. Outsourcing, is, of course, an easy solution, provided you make sure that the outsourced scanning service you choose is HIPAA compliant.
Scanning documents time consuming, and when the documents to be converted are medical records, the conversion process involves much more than just scanning. In fact, medical records scanning touches on all aspects of records management and HIPAA compliance and can comprise both paper and film conversion and management, digital storage, archiving and disaster recovery, as well as the transport and transmission of patient information through the healthcare organization.
This complexity of medical records scanning requires the use of an experience document conversion service provider who can help you move easily into the world of digital medical records while ensuring HIPAA compliance throughout the process.
About HIPAA Compliance
The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires establishing and implementing measures that ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability of all Protected Health Information (PHI), while the Security Rule addresses safeguards specific to security of electronic data. This applies to you and your staff, as well as any third party contractors (like a scanning service) that you may hire. This means:
- Health plans
- Healthcare clearinghouses
- Healthcare providers
- Business associates
- Third-party partners and associates
This means that it is fundamentally important when choosing a medical records conversion service to ensure that this partner understands all of the issues that enable you to maintain HIPAA compliance and any new government initiatives that may come about.
What Data is Covered by HIPAA?
The HIPAA law covers any personal health information that contains information about health condition, treatment or payment for care that can be related to an individual. Because this is so broad, it generally is taken to include all of the information contained in a patient’s medical record and payment history. This is why HIPAA compliance requirements extend to the medical records scanning service provider.
HIPAA Penalties Can Be Costly
Enforcement and penalties related to the protection of patient information can reach a maximum of $1.5 million annually per type of violation. State attorneys general, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have the authority to prosecute HIPAA violations.
So, it pays to do your due diligence before you send patient records or x-ray film off to be scanned.
Questions to Ask BEFORE You Send Patient Records to a Scanning Service
- How should we prepare our medical records for transportation to the scanning facility?
- What procedures are at place at the scanning facility to ensure HIPAA compliance?
- How will the medical records be handled and stored during the conversion process?
- What type of scanning equipment do you use?
- What are the technical qualifications for your scanning personnel?
- How do you handle quality control?
- Do you provide indexing services?
- How do you deliver our digital files; will you upload them directly to our EMR?
- How do you dispose of the records after the conversion is completed?
If you’re careful, and choose your outsource scanning vendor wisely, your conversion to digital should go smoothly.