As we know, everyone working at Shore isn’t on the front line working directly with patients. There are so many important staff members serving in roles behind the scene to help in our mission of serving our community. Over the next few months, we will highlight these departments to familiarize you with these departments and celebrate the great work they do.
The members of the Health Information Management Services or HIMS team play a huge role in the success of the hospital. Some may think HIMS is the office where patients go to pick up medical records. That is only a small role in the overall duties of the HIMS team. Supervisor Bindi Patel said, “I like to think of us as the liaison between the medical side and the billing side at SMC.”
A medical record is like a story of the patient’s visit at SMC. Once the patient is discharged, documents are organized, scanned and uploaded to Cerner. Patel said, “Our goal is to scan all charts in 24 hours.” Some days that can be a tall order with the small staff. Patel said when it gets hectic, they are an all-hands-on-deck team and she along with Calla Waldron Buck, Director of HIMS and Privacy Officer will jump in to help keep the information flowing. Once charts are uploaded, charts are analyzed to make sure all documents are finalized and completed.
Coding is another essential element of HIMS. The Coding Team is led by Debbie DeCarlo. The Credentialed Coding team reviews the entire medical record and tells the patient story through diagnosis and procedure codes, helping the billing department to bill appropriately.
Another role of the HMS team is to dig back into patient records when something is requested. Those records could be from last year or the last decade but the team works diligently to meet those requests, even if it means digging into records that predate current technology and are on microfiche. The dedicated HIMS staff keeps the patient information flowing.