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Daily change is part of our healthcare careers and even more so with the COVID-19 national emergency.  Here are a few items you and your staff need to know during this time.


Release of Information (ROI) Recommendations during COVID-19

Release of information services have processes and regulations to keep patient records secure and still maintain release of those records in the specified time period which is 30 days for records stored on-site.


Temporarily suspend walk-in access for medical records requests.  You can display signs to redirect patients, post information on your hospital website, and communicate changes in processes with patient access (check-in or registration) staff.


Provide patients and families with options such as phone authorization validation by HIM staff who witness, directing phone messages to a phone or patient portal, and providing instructions to obtain and complete an authorization form.


Validate identity by phone by asking the patient for demographics to verify date of birth, home address, and last 4 of social security number, cell phone number, or other reliable demographic data elements.



Educate staff what is allowed and what is not allowed.  Allowed are Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, and Skype.  Not allowed are Facebook Live, Twitch, TikTok or any public facing tools.   


Notify patients the allowed applications may not be secure and ask if they want to continue.  Remind staff these are episodes of care that require the same clinical documentation processes as seeing a patient in a traditional care setting.


Contact HCCS at for training on telehealth.  HCCS experts explain what you need to know.




Topics: COVID-19

Healthcare Coding & Consulting Services

(a.k.a. HCCS)

This blog is an extension of our uncompromising values and dedication to our clients, staff, and the HIM industry as a whole.


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