The MaHIMA Team Excellence Award focuses on the team efforts, especially those that cross departmental barriers.  With the 2014 Award, the recognition goes to team members not only from different departments but from two separate companies working to achieve important goals.

Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital, a multi-campus provider of rehabilitation service, teamed with KYOS Systems, Inc. a software development company that specializes in document data management for healthcare to achieve Whittier’s medical records goals.

According to Sophia Shanahan, RHIT, Director Health Information at Whittier, “Going electronic without losing the benefits of paper was a challenge to all staff. Our HIM and IT staff worked with a small Massachusetts company called KYOS to modify their hybrid paper-electronic medical records system to meet our needs and address our issues.  It was a team effort made by all staff and I am proud to report that it has been successful!”

The project involved the design, implementation and continuous improvement of paper record scanning, documentation management and quality assurance.  The teams were faced with a set of needs to address:

  • The Physician’s signing their medical records in a timely manner.
  • Paper documents taking up a very large space.
  • Rising costs for storage of paper charts – off site.
  • Difficult access to records after hours and at different locations.
  • Quality analysis on the scanned records before destruction.
  • Back filing of over 1000 large medical records before destruction.
  • Release of Information required taking staff off other duties for extended periods.
  • The project has been successful in several ways:
  • Scanning, indexing, document quality control, storage and retrieval were customized to fit the needs of the three Whittier hospital sites. 
  • HIM staff and the healthcare providers were able to learn the system very quickly and have been performing admirably. 
  • The electronic versions of the records are available 24/7 and fully searchable.
  • The need for offsite storage has been eliminated. 
  • Coding times are reduced from 20-30 minutes to approximately 6 minutes per record using the coding virtual folder.
  • As a result of not having to constantly retrieve records and manually QC all charts and records contents, staff at each location has been reduced and/or has been given other responsibilities.
  • Release of Information efforts are now much easier, quicker and more accurate.

Photo: (back row left to right) Kathy Jackman, Cindy Connolly, Kim Sargent, Mariellen Liccardi( hidden), Sue Walden, Diana Ledoux, Administratror Bob Iannaco, George Gaines, (front row left to right) Karen Morris, Maryellen Belanger, Darelen Pas, Debbie Pineda, Sophia Shanahan (holding award), Linda Young.