Electronic health records
New service seeks to smooth transition
BOSTON – Iron Mountain Inc., a
leader in information protection and storage services, announced it will
begin offering a diagnostic assessment that shows large North American
hospitals how to process patient records more
The diagnostic service is part of Iron Mountain’s shift toward a more
consultative approach in the healthcare space and is the latest in a
string of recent moves by the company to help healthcare providers lower
their costs while improving patient care.
Generally taking 3-4 weeks to complete, the assessment helps healthcare
organizations to automate workflows and fund the transition to
electronic health records by identifying inefficiencies in their current
records management practices.
The assessment is designed for large teaching hospitals and
multi-hospital healthcare networks, where numerous file rooms and
storage vendors create the need for greater efficiency.
“Most hospitals are struggling to transition from paper records to more
efficient electronic health records,” said Ed Santangelo, Iron
Mountain’s senior vice president of healthcare. “While many see the
value in moving to the electronic version, they’re just not sure how to
make the switch with existing resources and without disrupting care.
“Our assessment lets hospitals take an evolutionary approach to enact
what potentially can be self-funding changes without affecting their
daily mission to provide quality patient care. They can save money on
records storage, ease into an EHR and re-engineer existing processes.”
Long heralded as a way for healthcare providers to improve patient care
and efficiency, electronic health records have proven too costly and
complex for most hospitals to adopt entirely.
According to a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association in
2006, only 11 percent of the nation’s hospitals had fully implemented
electronic health records. Another 57 percent of America’s hospitals
reported having a partially implemented EHR.
Canadian hospitals and healthcare facilities are also seeking to
implement electronic solutions. For example, the ultimate goal of the
Ontario e-health strategy is to create an electronic health record for
all Ontarians by 2015. Other provinces are deeply immersed in their own
e-health programs, as well.
Iron Mountain’s assessment looks at the costs of staff, third-party
vendors, storage and even lost revenue from file rooms occupying space
that hospitals could use for treating patients.
Additionally, the company reviews the hospital’s methods for processing
patient records. In a paper-based hospital, the medical records staff
must assemble charts, code them and perform other actions sequentially.
Hospitals cannot complete these activities concurrently like they can
with electronic medical records. While this process for handling patient
records can take up to six months for every discharge, Iron Mountain has
been able to cut this time for some customers to just 30 days by helping
them store paper records more efficiently and enabling them to digitize
patient charts on an as-needed basis.
Adopted from RMS Services, a healthcare records specialist acquired by
Iron Mountain, the assessment isn’t the only new addition in the
company’s suite of healthcare offerings.
Recognizing that the healthcare market is labouring to transition from
paper-based to electronic records, Iron Mountain has made a series of
recent investments to better address this need. Earlier this year, Iron
Mountain introduced in America two digital archives – one that provides
long-term archiving and off-site disaster recovery for digital medical
images and another that stores and protects electronic copies of medical
records and other documents.
And planned for early next year, Iron Mountain will expand its release
of information service, having just entered into a software licensing
agreement with Cobius Healthcare Solutions, LLC.
About Iron Mountain
Iron Mountain Inc. helps organizations around the world reduce the costs
and risks associated with information protection and storage. The
company offers comprehensive records management and data protection
solutions, along with the expertise and experience to address complex
information challenges such as rising storage costs, litigation,
regulatory compliance and disaster recovery. Founded in 1951, Iron
Mountain is a trusted partner to more than 120,000 corporate clients
throughout North America, Europe, Latin American and Asia Pacific. For
more information, visit the company’s Web site at