RPM Integral to BACTES’ Secure Management for Patient Medical Records
- BACTES is an established provider of Release of Information services for Protected Health Information
- They print to RPM as a virtual printer to generate PDF and TIFF images
- Using RPM they have created a secure workflow to satisfy HIPAA requirements
BACTES trusted with medical records
As a health information expert for 25 years, BACTES has been a leader in providing secure electronic exchange, delivery and integration of Protected Health Information (PHI) to thousands of healthcare providers across the United States. The company adheres to the latest compliance standards while providing superior, multi-step quality control processes. Headquartered in San Diego, with offices throughout the country, BACTES has grown dynamically, employing hundreds of people who are behind its customized solutions, superior quality and industry-leading customer support.
“We provide release of information (ROI) services to hospital systems, clinic groups, and physician practices. We manage the release of PHI to various requesters, including insurance carriers, attorney firms, patients and others,” explained Aaron Catanach, BACTES Director of Operations for Orange County, Los Angeles, and the Inland Empire metropolitan area. “These electronic medical records must be shared securely, in accordance with HIPAA and other medical patient privacy and security mandates, so there are many restrictions on how records can be managed, shared, and combined and printed, when necessary.”RPM handles this with ease, along with any other virtual printing problem.
About four years ago, Catanach researched technologies that could easily convert the records into PDF and TIFF image formats, allow trusted users to work with the records, and enable records to be saved digitally, for archiving, searching and retrieval. “I found a few solutions that could convert electronic medical records to PDF files, but the licensing terms were prohibitive, requiring individual licenses and installations for about 80 customer employees authorized to work directly with the records at about 15 customer sites. Then I found RPM Remote Print Manager® (RPM), from Brooks Internet Software. A single license covers each office and all of its authorized users, so 15 installations and licenses support everyone necessary,” he said.
RPM works well with others
RPM also works seamlessly with the various EMR systems in use by BACTES customers. Catanach said the most popular is Allscripts TouchWorks, followed by Cerner, HPS and MEDITECH. “In fact, there is a specific version of MEDITECH that doesn’t support virtual printing to electronic files. RPM handles this with ease, along with any other virtual printing problem. This is what I specifically like most about RPM – it allows up to 99 PCs or workstations to be treated like virtual printers, so a single printer or print server can support 99 people, using 99 distinct printer queues. Altogether, this creates a patient records workflow system for our customers,” he said.
Without this system, Catanach said some record handlers would be printing and scanning documents – a slow, labor intensive, and less manageable and secure process. “With HIPAA, for one example, records must be secure at all times. Converting them to electronic files, using RPM, is not only more secure than using printed hard copy, but also allows secure transmission and sharing. Even better, the files are processed on safe PCs, not in some application or service in the cloud,” he said.“Brooks’ people absolutely get us and how we work. There’s no network printer issue we can’t solve together, and that’s huge in our business."
Brooks and RPM rise to the challenges
Catanach admits, however, that as good as this workflow system is, he and BACTES customers sometimes present it with a challenge. “Occasionally, we’ll throw something off the wall at it, and get stuck. Brooks Internet Software has been very helpful during these and other times we’ve needed support. Not only that, but the 21 day free trial gave us enough time to tune things and confirm that it worked as we wanted in a new customer environment. On one site, our setup had us printing loads of records, hitting the 5,000 page mark on day five. We called Brooks, got an answer to the problem, fixed it, and that sealed the purchase,” he said.
“Brooks’ people absolutely get us and how we work. There’s no network printer issue we can’t solve together, and that’s huge in our business. And the ability to setup 99 virtual printers and queues addresses is a huge selling point for us,” said Catanach.