One of the best tools for ensuring organization-wide ROI compliance is a gap analysis. A gap analysis looks at the entire disclosure management process to give you a sense of where you are today versus where you need to be to achieve and maintain compliance. In addition to compliance, the benefits of a gap analysis include a full accounting of disclosures, improved productivity, reduced paper processing, increased electronic release, improved turn-around time, and improved requestor satisfaction. This is an especially relevant topic given Information Blocking and the upcoming proposed changes to HIPAA, which are presumed to go into effect this spring.

To begin a gap analysis, you must first assess your current state. We can break this down into six steps.

  1. Determine where the ROI flows into departments, practices, clinics, hospitals, etc.
  2. Layout a flowchart of all “on ramps.”
  3. Document the handling of all requests to include how many people touch a request. For example, does HIM forward a copy to radiology, the business office, sleep center, etc.?
  4. Analyze access to systems. Include all steps required to obtain access and what effort is needed to capture all pertinent information.
  5. Review current delivery method options (print, package, mail, email, fax, etc.)
  6. Determine current turn-around time. Start with the actual received date and remember that the TAT clock doesn’t stop and restart every time a request is forwarded to another department or location.

Once you’ve assessed your current state, it’s time to develop an action plan.

Working with a vendor partner who can automate this process will make this step much easier. Your action plan should involve a committee of location leaders or decision makers. You can use the “on ramp” flowchart from the previous step to make decisions on centralizing intake. Then provide access to all source systems to HIM or one centralized group. To reduce the number of patients wanting to review in-person, expand your delivery method options through automated technology like Verisma Request App®. Finally, establish a one-touch process to accomplish an accurate TAT.

The most difficult part of this process is building a unified ROI plan. Change projects are always challenging, especially within complex health systems, but your gap analysis will help as you move forward. Follow these five steps to build and implement your plan.


  1. Recognize the need for change. Get internal support and lay out your business case with benefits. HIM leadership should usually handle this step.
  2. Craft a vision. Your vendor partner can help you strategize for success.
  3. Implement change.
  4. Embed changes in your culture and practices. Make sure old ways aren’t creeping back in.
  5. Review your progress and analyze the results.

If you’d like to learn more about how Verisma can help you conduct a gap analysis and build an ROI roadmap, contact us.

Learn more about the gap analysis process and earn an AHIMA CEU through Verisma Academy. 
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