Healthcare Leadership and Innovation

Providers "on hold" while on vacation, LOA, etc

  • 1.  Providers "on hold" while on vacation, LOA, etc

    Posted 01-21-2019 17:24
    I am questioning how other facilities handle patient record completion if a provider is "on vacation" for 30+ days.    I have a provider that has records that are now 30+ post discharge.   The provider informed the HIM Dept he was going out of the country when those charts were only 7 days post discharge and now he is delinquent in his records

    We have searched CoP and JC standards regarding chart completion being 30 days post discharge but nothing is addressed when a physician was not available to complete records timely.       Our chart deficiency system can put a provider "on hold" whereby the delinquency clock stops but that could still make us out of compliance with timely record completion.

    What do you all do?    Any thoughts?

    Thank you,

    Pam Grigas,

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    Pam Grigas
    Manager, Health Info. Mgmt.
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  • 2.  RE: Providers "on hold" while on vacation, LOA, etc

    Posted 01-22-2019 08:47
    In a perfect world they should complete their documentation before their vacation. If it were me I would see when they are do back and have them complete at that time and put their deficiencies on hold but make sure to follow closely. Maybe if it happens frequently have a policy in place in situations like this. We have on provider that goes out of the country frequently but will always get his charts current before leaving.

    Having administration on your side to put a policy in place so the providers know how important it is to complete documentation is a big plus as well.

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    Beth Kosman, RHIT, CCS, CCS-P
    HIM Director
    Ringgold County Hospital
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  • 3.  RE: Providers "on hold" while on vacation, LOA, etc

    Posted 01-23-2019 05:21
    Does you institution have a policy regarding administratively closing records for any of the reasons listed when providers are not available?  if so use that policy to move the charts along and present at your MRC or Quality Council.   When administrators have to close charts-sometimes it prompts folks to be more proactive about completing their documentation timely or getting others to do so.

    We would not put the charts on hold-we would follow the suspension process.  If they are not addressed administratively, they will get done upon the providers return.  You have followed policy.

    Good Luck,


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    Patti Nenna, RHIT
    Director Of Medical Records
    Morton Hospital and Medical Center
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  • 4.  RE: Providers "on hold" while on vacation, LOA, etc

    Posted 01-22-2019 09:31
    ​Check to see how your Medical Staff Bylaws are written. When we have extended absences (maternity leave, illnesses, etc), our Medical Director is able to do Administrative discharge summaries and sign off on orders for those providers since he is their direct supervisor. We do not bill for the profee charge for the discharge summary he has done since the patient was not seen by him, but it helps to ensure our charts are completed within the 30 day timeframe. Again, it will depend on your bylaws.

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    Michelle Hustafa
    Him Manager
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