UMMC announces personnel changes in medical records department
National reform measures and sweeping technology changes apply intense pressures to the way United Memorial currently delivers medical services to the people in our community. Over the next ten years, it is estimated that our hospital will lose approximately $15 million in reimbursement due to payment reductions from Medicaid and Medicare. That, coupled with our move to an electronic medical record, has led to changes in the Medical Records Department.
For the past several months, United Memorial has used the services of Intivia, a medical transcriptionist service, for dictation and transcription of physician notes in the medical record of patients in the Sleep Lab and Medical Offices. Faced with the need to make a significant capital investment in the Hospital’s current transcription system and with the move to an electronic medical record for all patients, United Memorial began evaluating whether the time had come to contract with Intivia for all the Hospital’s transcription needs. After carefully weighing the benefits and costs associated with using a service such as Intivia, with that of maintaining our current transcriptionist process, United Memorial, like many hospitals across the country, will transition to a transcriptionist service.
This change will be especially difficult for five transcriptionists currently employed by United Memorial. On Wednesday, their leadership team met with them to discuss the employment options available. Of the five people directly affected by the change, we are hopeful that two will immediately continue their employment at United Memorial by accepting positions as a coordinator for the transcriptionist service or as a medical records secretary, The three remaining employees will be invited to stay, at the same rate of pay and benefits, to work on a medical records project that is expected to last, at a minimum through the end of the year. They will receive preferential treatment for positions that become available within the organization where they meet the qualifications.
Transitioning from paper to an Electronic Medical Record reflects a growth in practice and as we continue to move to an EMR we believe that transcription requirements will eventually decrease in the hospital setting. The contract with Intivia will realize an annual savings of over $200,000 and is expected to take effect on September 10, 2012.
Every effort has been made to assist employees directly impacted by the change. Their department manager has had frank discussions with the staff to inform them that the organization was researching transcription options available. A decision was not announced until a plan had been created to ease the transition, and the burdens it carries, for the employees affected. They are hardworking and valued colleagues that we would like to see continue with our organization.