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A managed document service (MDS) is a software solution offered by a vendor designed to meet electronic health records (EHR) needs and comply with legislative requirements based on the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act was put into law based on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARAA) as part of the Federal Stimulus Plan. These laws mandate the use of electronic health records (EHR) by all health care facilities and eligible providers (EP). Incentive payments for Medicaid/Medicare providers are paid in graduated, yearly successions to the organizations and EPs who comply with the laws surrounding EHRs.
An MDS helps eligible providers and health care organizations meet federal regulations for converting their paper medical records to electronic form. By doing so, they help cut down on costs, facilitate treatment effectiveness and assist indirectly with improved patient satisfaction. An MDS will sometimes use proprietary software in order to meet specific client needs, where tailored applications are necessary. An MDS also implements data management technologies.
Most managed document services offer an improved document work flow as well as increased EHR security and risk management. Although a typical MDS may be expensive, it can free up health caregivers to focus more on patient care. An MDS can provide useful IT direction, education and implementation of EHR conversion. Larger health care institutions already have IT personnel in place, but small private practices however, tend to hire low-cost private IT professionals or attempt to learn health IT techniques on their own.