A total cost management approach to document management provides more value

Properly managing documents and records is essential to the business of healthcare and the safety of patients—extremely sensitive information is at stake. But doing it correctly can be surprisingly burdensome and expensive. It’s not smart to cut corners on this important job when you can find services that offer better value.

Looking closer at the cost

Joey Dickson

When HealthTrust members talk to Joey Dickson, HealthTrust’s AVP of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity Officer, about their document management strategies, he advises them to think broadly. “We talk to members about the total cost of the relationship with that service supplier,” he says. “It’s easy to think, ‘This local supplier seems like they have the cheapest rates; I’m going to use them.’ ”

However, that local, less expensive document management resource may ultimately be more costly if they don’t have the resources to pull documents when they’re needed or if they don’t have the staff to be proactive—to let you know when you’ve stored documents beyond the amount of time required by law, and you end up continuing to pay storage fees when they could be recycled or destroyed.

“That total cost management aspect often times gets overlooked,” Dickson explains. “National suppliers are not always the cheapest, but if you think about the relationship in terms of what it’s going to cost over the long term, the benefits of our contracts are pretty clear.”

HealthTrust’s document management suppliers often offer discounts if members use them for both document storage and document shredding—with some of those suppliers offering double-digit savings.

Suppliers through HealthTrust

Contracts with HealthTrust’s stable of document management suppliers also offer members something hard to come by if they make arrangements on their own: transparency and stability. “Our primary focus from a value standpoint is making sure members know up front what they are going to have to pay over time—not only to store those documents, but also what the plan is to destroy them and what it’s going to cost to retrieve and move them from storage to destruction,” Dickson explains.

In the open market, there’s a lot of variability and volatility that impacts document management suppliers’ costs, which they could pass on. Dickson shares, “Our contracts not only ask suppliers to be transparent with their fees and price structure, but also protects against fluctuations in the market, so hospitals and health systems can plan for how much document management is going to cost over a specific amount of time.”

The transparency provided in the service agreement extends beyond dollars. The contract clarifies what the supplier will do and exactly how it will be done. Having a supplier that you can trust to handle the records from both storage through destruction is meaningful. “That’s the kind of thing we expect from, or try to spell out in, a lot of our contracts that add value beyond just what the price or rate would be,” Dickson says.

The green factor

A HealthTrust-negotiated contract also helps members reach internal goals. KPIs can be part of the service agreement, for example. And HealthTrust is looking out for our members’ best interests with sustainability goals, making sure the contract package takes them into account. The HealthTrust team is working on a questionnaire for suppliers, so members know what their efforts will be up front.

For more information on document management services, contact your HealthTrust Account Manager or visit the contract packages within the Member Portal.

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