Healthcare Law Update: Tips for Dodging Records Management Minefields


On February 11, 2015, Robert Half Legal was invited to speak at the New York Chapter of the Association of Records Managers (ARMA). Robert Half invited Karina Smuclovisky, assistant general counsel, Memorial Healthcare System (pictured below), to join Joel Wuesthoff, senior director of Robert Half Legal’s eDiscovery and Information Governance Solutions, for the evening presentation entitled, “Dodging the Minefields: Updates from healthcare front lines on transitioning from Records Management to IG.”

This topic proved to be particularly timely as executives to front line managers in healthcare, finance, technology, and other sectors continue to encounter a broader and more complex range of challenges in developing effective governance policies and practices. These issues were covered in depth in the context of a Memorial Healthcare System’s multiyear initiative, targeting greater compliance, defensibility, operational effectiveness, and cost savings over its paper and electronic records. Among others, the challenges common to most of the audience included the following:

  • Importance of senior executive sponsorship
  • The need for, and difficulty in, developing a measurable ROI for a multiyear project
  • The increasing multidisciplinary roles that records and information governance professionals play
  • The importance of considering records and client and customer information from a variety of perspectives, including audit, privacy, security, and eDiscovery
  • The criticality of integrating process, functions, standards, and technologies in a way that doesn’t unduly interrupt the ongoing operations of the organization
  • The need to customize, where appropriate, separate work streams, including records management, email retention and enterprise content management

The importance of starting with clear goals in mind at kickoff included the following:

  • Effective management of documents across enterprise
  • Increased efficiency of business processes
  • Standardized and automated retention schedules
  • Reduce cost of records storage
  • Reduce risk of non-compliance
  • Reduce cost of litigation discovery
  • Improved access to key information

As takeaways, the speakers encouraged any company engaged in an information governance project to:

  • Develop a compelling business case
  • Understand your organization’s tolerance and strategic goals
  • Build support
  • Create a high-level work plan
  • Conduct current state assessment
  • Ensure sufficient resources
  • Anticipate, and plan for, cultural and change management push back

Have a best practice that you'd like to add? Or another trend you'd like to note in addition to those we covered? Please add a comment below.

Tags: Events