Whether paper-bound or digital, a medical practice's documentation is key to compliance and operational efficiency.

Documentation is an important asset for every business. It spans all aspects of your operation, from your client list, billing procedure, data backup, to your login passwords. Any information that is vital to know to run your business is something that should be documented.

The reasons for keeping this documentation are as myriad as your practice’s daily tasks. Having all passwords available negates the need to either write them down OR submit tickets to get forgotten passwords reset. The process of documenting often makes various procedures more efficient and repeating them becomes easier. Having a full list of credentials available will help you monitor when passwords need to updated, and if one is compromised, it becomes easier to change all credentials related to it. Having hardware documented assists with any repair or maintenance work and means that end of warranty deadlines and replacements can be tracked and planned for.

HIPAA requires a full documenting of all hardware that may contain PHI. Maintaining a list of data repositories to know where data is at all times is important, while documenting backup procedures is critical. There must be a known path to follow in the event of a breach, loss of data, or disaster so that it is clear which assets need to be restored first in a crisis.

This documentation should be stored in a central depository that all members of an organization have access to, but access to specific information may need to be limited by job type or responsibility. Having one system that everyone uses is useful, as an employee only needs to learn one procedure, and this process can be applied to any documentation, both for how to document something and for how to access the documentation. Looking up the password for an EMR login should be the same process as looking up the type of ink in the office printer.

Having this information to hand is as invaluable for training new employees as it is for carrying out basic tasks. It means solving a problem in minutes rather than hours, and lessens the impact of lost productivity that can arise from a forgotten procedure, a misplaced password, or a hardware failure. Documentation means never having to reinvent that wheel, but rather simply looking up the process and moving on from there.

Healthcare Technology Advisors uses ITGlue and MyGlue as our documentation solutions. You can call us today to learn more about those services or discuss other solutions that might better fit your practice.

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