Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Iron Mountain Asks CMS to Consider Scanning

Paper storage giant Iron Mountain has come up with an interesting pitch to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Basically, they seem to be asking the CMS to more heavily consider the benefits of scanning when defining "meaningful use," which is the criteria for receiving reimbursements for electronic medical records (EMR) implementations.

This is interesting because at the Laserfiche user conference I attended earlier this year, an SI who services the medical market indicated that document imaging was not really an important criteria for meaningful use and thus had gone with another ISV, instead of Laserfiche, for its EMR requirements. Iron Mountain is, of course, motivated by the fact that it "manages hardcopy and digital healthcare information for more than 2,000 hospitals across 43 states" and has a growing document scanning business. Nonetheless, this type of lobbying could be a good thing for our entire industry, which is one reason its nice to now have $3 billion companies like Iron Mountain participating in our space.


Michael Thomas said...

Thanks for sharing this. It's an interesting strategy and it's one I'm surprised to see Iron Mountain pioneering.

As a service provider, I certainly agree the medical records scanning is an important component of the overall transition to EMR systems, but a closer examination of the actual implications of meaningful use make me doubt that this will be accepted or approved.

As anyone who's been in the document management business long enough to tell you, user acceptance is critical to success. In this case the users are the physicians, the nurses, and the clinical staff. Without their willingness to change the way they practice medicine, the sweeping changes touted by politicians are going to be hard to achieve!

DIReditor said...


Thanks for the comment.
I'll make two follow-up comments:
1. From what I've seen, the proposed stimulus money (as well as potential future penalties) is driving increasing user acceptance among medical professionals.
2. I haven't studied the implications of "meaningful use" as closely as you, but I think Iron Mountains goal is to change some of these implications through lobbying - and there may be some opportunity for organizations like yours to jump on board this lobbying push - if that indeed is the plan. (I realize Iron Mountain is likely a competitor, but in this case, it seems working together might bring mutual benefit.)

Best regards,


mtraininjax said...

Iron Mountain is the 800 pound gorilla of the records management industry. Reading their annual report gives you a good idea of where the industry is headed.

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