5 Things for Record Retrieval Companies to consider while Off-shoring a part of their Operations

simple white desk on a white wall with a plant on the far right side

Story By : Aminfoweb

Meta Description: Learn more about the "Five Must Have Factors" that Record Retrieval companies should focus on while outsourcing their work.Record Retrieval is a vital task that takes up a lot of time and is often fraught with roadblocks and errors. It is a set of complex processes to request, fetch, organize, and deliver important medical records necessary to process litigation or claims. Record retrieval companies often choose to offshore their activities because it helps reduce expenses and free up staff. Outsourcing jobs to countries like India can save record retrieval companies up to 50% in manpower costs.The existing team can be extended offshore to handle activities such as raising requests, regularly following up via calls and other mediums, negotiating and paying the custodian fees until receiving the medical records. Also, choosing to handle the activities in a different time zone can allow your operations to go on for 24 hours.This practice of off-shoring has been going on for a long time, and it has made the retrieval companies more efficient. Cost is an obvious criteria while choosing an offshore service provider, but when it comes to record retrieval there are several other important

SOC 2 Type-II Compliance

SOC or System and Organization Control are a series of rules which determine whether an organization regulates and satisfactorily conducts its information. When an organization looks for third-party vendors to handle its activities offshore, they must look for the SOC certification, because it will provide them with confidence. For an organization to be SOC certified, it must undergo an audit conducted by a verified public accountant who checks if it has all the SOC safeguards in place.

As medical record retrieval companies deal with PHI (Personal Health Information), the security of the information is of great importance. SOC 2 requires the organization to maintain information security protocols that cover the confidentiality, integrity, processing, and availability of data. SOC 2 is a time-consuming process and requires investment and an organization that is SOC 2 certified provides better security because they understand the risks their clients face if data is handled in an improper manner.

SOC 2 certifications are not mandatory for organizations but it is advisable to approach a SOC 2 certified organization while entrusting a third-party with activities that require handling of personal data. Before contacting such an organization for offshore handling of vital operations, record retrieval companies should verify that the organization is legitimate and has a good reputation. Information about this can be gathered by contacting the company officials and by checking their details online. With a SOC 2 certified organization, you can be assured that your data is handled correctly.

HIPAA Compliance

It is a tempting proposition for record retrieval companies to outsource the activities related with Protected Health Information (PHI) to third-party experts because it helps in cutting costs and reducing manpower. However, dealing with the critical importance of these healthcare records makes it risky to outsource and companies need to make sure that their customer’s data does not fall into the wrong hands. HIPAA fines organizations that do not follow their protocols. In 2018, the total settlement for HIPAA fines rose by 22%. Hence a record retrieval company should ask the vendor in question if they have ever been fined for non compliance of HIPAA in the past?

HIPAA ensures that every member of the organization understands how they need to act in order to protect sensitive customer data, creating a human barrier against breach of data. It raises awareness on how to protect customer data and provides specific instructions on how to do it. HIPAA compliant organizations understand the importance of protecting privacy. HIPAA guidelines include tracked documents, secure access to patient medical data, the ability to block private data, etc.

Before contacting an offshore vendor for handling sensitive medical data of their patients, record retrieval companies should check if they are HIPAA compliant or not. The vendor's website can be checked for HIPAA related information, or their salesperson can be contacted directly and you can ask them questions regarding HIPAA compliance. While entrusting a third party with your customer data, confidentiality is one of the chief concerns, and you should make sure they follow all the protocols while handling sensitive data.

Financial Stability

While partnering with an offshore record retrieval service provider, you want to make sure that the vendor not only follows their own internal rules and regulations, but also general rules, best practices, laws, and compliance procedures. Along with this, you need to choose a vendor that is financially stable. Outsourcing your work offshore is a long term commitment, and you want this to be a continuous service. Since so much sensitive data is handled, a certain degree of trust needs to be established. A financially stable company can give you that.

Financial stability of a company is important because such a company would most likely have a good reputation and a long history of handling such data for its clients. To ensure this, it is best to choose a renowned and financially stable organization as your off-shoring partner. The vendor in question can also be asked if they have business insurance to cover any potential mishaps.

Understanding the Culture of the Organization

A company’s culture determines in a large way how it handles its operations, how its employees view the work they do, and how important client satisfaction is for them. Entrusting a third-party offshore vendor to perform activities that require handling of sensitive information does not come without its fair share of risks. You want to gather all the information you can about the organization before doing business with them.

A company's culture should be such that they realize that every record in the database is the personal data of a real person that should not be meddled with. Their culture should indicate and verify that they have never experienced a data breach in the past. A third-party vendor entrusted with handling such data should have data security integrated into their culture. A company with a great culture also hires the most talented people, and you can be at ease knowing your data is in safe hands and your work is being done with utmost efficiency.

An organization should have a culture of constantly optimizing the way they work to suit changing demands. A culture of right sourcing should also be present because it leads to increased productivity and as such, it takes them less time to retrieve the records needed. You can get an idea about the culture of the organization by visiting their website and going through their vision and mission statements. You can also get in touch with one of the executive directors and have an open conversation about the kind of work culture that the organization follows.

Performance History

While off-shoring some of your record retrieval activities, you should enquire about the past experiences and performances of the third-party vendor in question. The best companies guarantee good performance which is beneficial to the clients as they are assured that their operations are being handled in a professional manner. A company with a long history of good performance can be trusted because you know they have their reputation to protect.

Companies are held liable if they cannot perform a task efficiently. Most companies today offer free trials or price protection guarantees, so you should try and find out of such provisions to test their claims on performance histories. This information can usually be found on the official website of the company. If not, you can always get in touch with the company officials and ask them to provide a concise history of their past operations. Many organizations provide a variety of services that may seem tempting, but in reality, they might not have much experience in the field. It is better that you choose a trusted organization with years of experience while off-shoring your record retrieval activities.

Outsourcing a part of your health information management activities makes it easier to concentrate on tasks that require the most attention, as well as saving you a lot of money on operations. AM Infoweb has been in the business of retrieving records for a long time, and has partnered with many leading retrieval companies in the past, helping them serve their clients via quality services and efficient off-shoring.

Driven by the mission to make insurance, legal aid, and healthcare extremely affordable to everyone, we reduce the operations costs of our clients significantly so that they can pass on the benefits to the end customers.

It is time to partner with a record retrieval expert with the capability and capacity to meet your retrieval needs and is committed towards your success.