William Meaney, President & CEO
With nearly, 220 beds with nine operating theatres, a 22-bed pediatric intensive care unit, and an emergency department dealing with over 45,000 cases annually, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital created comprehensive paper-based records for every patient that attends the emergency department. Each comprised a booklet containing up to 15 pages of data, filed in storage boxes and columns for patients who were held on-site for six months. The emergency department typically seeing up to 200 patients each day, the records were piling up, occupying valuable hospital space, which could have been used for clinical purposes. Furthermore, with up to 400 patient files stored in each box and up to 100 boxes kept in the hospital storage facility at any time, document retrieval was far from straightforward. Enter Boston, MA based Iron Mountain [NASDAQ: IRM]—a provider of flexible information management solutions that securely store and manage healthcare records and facilitate the transition to Electronic Medical Records (EMR) cost effectively. Providing a fantastic back-up plan phase, Iron Mountain’s managed scanning and hosting services, helped their client, Birmingham Children’s Hospital to receive instant access to vital clinical records—safeguarding child welfare and improving staff productivity.
Since 1953, Iron Mountain has been enabling a digital transition through an extensive network of document imaging centers, document scanning, indexing services, and secures storage. The firm’s high-capacity, high-availability hosted service enables complete access to records, from any system with a web browser. With over 1000 facilities across 36 countries, the company has diversified customer base and helps clients to mitigate risks associated with protection and storage of information assets, streamline business processes, reduce redundancy, and meet complex compliance obligations. Iron Mountain’s secure shredding services uses a program-focused approach that aid firms to destroy unnecessary paper-based documents both onsite and offsite.
Managing Data Digitally
Mismanaged information can slow down processes, frustrate customers, and curb effectiveness. The easiest way to achieve the targeted efficiency gains and long term objectives is by moving towards a paperless office. Iron Mountain’s document imaging services scans the targeted information quickly and secures it through a secure imaging and storage facilities network. The company’s solution development experts work with the customers to assess processes and recommend ways to increase productivity by managing data digitally.
In addition, the firm’s Digital Records Center or digital archive provides fast, reliable online access to critical digital documents, helping organizations to effectively collaborate with business partners. Digital archive’s role-based permissions ensure important seamless security and shorten cycle times.
Optimizing for EMR Transition
The easiest way to achieve the targeted efficiency gains and long term objectives is by moving towards a paperless office
Though accelerating to EMR transition is a mandate, most companies lack the bandwidth and skills to create a proven approach for scanning, which will lower costs, while securing chain-of-custody for confidential patient and hospital information. Empowering doctors to treat patients using records in a single format and improving patient care and throughput is Iron Mountain’s Scanning services. This provides image records in a format that can be uploaded into the existing Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system.
Scanning service easily bridges the gap between paper and digital records to treat patients faster. The service includes document conversion and document hosting services. The document conversion services comprises of day forward conversion, backfile conversion, and image on demand, allowing users to break out of the hybrid world, avoid a privacy breach, and offload the administrative burden. Leveraging these processes can help in establishing a conversion process that integrates smoothly with the existing hospital processes.
Also, for improved control and visibility, Iron Mountain’s network of imaging centers reduces the limitations of a hybrid environment, making information available from a centralized, electronic source. All the healthcare data is stored in remote, mirrored data centers—available for ready retrieval through continuous Iron Mountain’s Server Backup service.
Ensuring Efficient Records Discovery
From records planning and file-room management to system design and implementation, healthcare organizations have myriad of competing priorities to cater to. Iron Mountain’s records management, information governance, and storage unifies electronic and physical records as well as builds consistency across workflows, locations and departments. The company assists users to identify the physical documents that are no longer required, so they can be disposed in a legally defensible and compliant manner.
Another unique offering, Iron Mountain Records and Information Management 360⁰ solution is designed to help companies become more organized to ensure efficient records discovery and minimize storage costs. Systematic record disposal solutions can help to reduce the volume of legacy physical records and curb storage time tremendously.
By focusing on additional imperatives of reducing costs, safeguarding information, Iron Mountain has worked with thousands of hospitals and healthcare organizations to consult on numerous aspects of information storage, protection, and access. As a result, the company compliments its capabilities with best-practice expertise and imparts first-hand knowledge as a seamless extension of the organization. “Iron Mountain is about trust. Our customers trust us to protect and manage their critical information and other valuable assets as they were our own.
We take this responsibility very seriously,” explains William Meaney, President and CEO, Iron Mountain.
In a case study, Ochsner Health Systems—a non-profit healthcare provider faced several hindrances in recent years, including being presented with the daunting task of re-evaluating the management and integration of its vast amount of legacy records into a consistent system. The acquisition of new satellites and hospital affiliates left Ochsner with an influx of records and need for additional client space. To manage patient records and integrate them, Iron Mountain assisted the client to incorporate a multi-faceted information governance program—one that included Iron Mountain’s Records Management, Image on Demand, and Secure Scheduling solutions—into its workflow. As a result, Ochsner was able to achieve consistency with its heath information management program and centralize the physical storage of its records and consolidate files that had previously been held at a number of satellite clinics. With Iron Mountain’s Image on Demand solution, Ochsner was able to scan patient records, making it easy for clinicians to get fast access to patient data.
Maintaining Compliance and Accountability
The Iron Mountain’s Connect portal supports document management program by enabling consistent procedures for retention, compliance, and accountability. The portal is a web-based records management system that helps transform the records management program into an enterprise-wide compliance program. It also offers tools to implement the four pillars of responsible records management including instant access, corporate-wide consistency, absolute accountability, and easy adoption. Connect Portal has a flexible user interface and a secure access control—providing companies the assurance that confidential information is kept safe and secure.
Moreover, to cater to the needs of limited IT budget and over-loaded resources, Iron Mountain’s online cloud storage and cloud services allows companies to execute backups automatically and continuously—either via the internet and through one’s own network. The cloud services will be safely stored in remote, mirrored data centers and available for ready retrieval, if the need arises.
"Iron Mountain is about trust. Our customers trust us to protect and manage their critical information and other valuable assets as they were our own"
A Move towards Consolidation
As health systems continue to sustain amidst the rising volumes of medical information, Iron Mountain has developed digital services such as data restoration, document digitization, and escrow services for proprietary computer code. The company has also made moves towards consolidation.
With this assurance, Iron Mountain is en route to expanding into the Colombian market. “Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America with strong GDP growth and an improving business environment. Our entry into this important market is consistent with our strategy to capture the initial wave of records outsourcing by acquiring local storage companies with strong records management platforms and deep customer relationships,” says Meaney. The company reflects great passion in building a workplace that is unique and makes a difference in the community. The ethical, social, and operational commitments made by the firm echoes that energy and zeal is at the core of Iron Mountain’s platform.