Consolidating and centralizing functions

In a centralized model, management also has the opportunity to reexamine department workflows and standardize processes based on best practices across the HIM continuum. HIM consolidation of services requires HIM leaders to use their change management skills to navigate successfully through centralization.

By looking at how various HIM departments operate individually, management can design and apply standardized workflows, come upon best practices, and optimize resource-use in their organization. Success largely depends on how well they navigate their team through the transition.

Given the impact on revenue and reimbursement, the C-suite recognizes centralization as a sound direction to reduce operational costs, establish consistent processes, and eliminate redundancies by fostering lean organizations.

HIM professionals faced with centralizing their departments are beginning to establish best practices and solid, pragmatic advice.

The executive order gives the CTO the authority to transfer the ownership and management of any IT assets to OIT and enter into service-level agreements to achieve the consolidation.

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Agency heads will be asked to submit an inventory of IT infrastructure and a roster of associated IT staff.Robin Gann, MHA, RHIA, system director of health information management at Cox Health: We began [centralizing] in the 1990s after implementing post-discharge scanning of medical records.At the time, there were two different facilities with separate medical record departments managed by two HIM directors.Consolidation can make or break a health information management department, particularly for enterprise-wide health systems.As the healthcare industry sets its sights on analytics-driven care models, the benefits of a consolidated HIM department may out-weigh the risks of disruptive change.Now, all the signs of the times indicate the necessity to centralize.

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