Archive for the ‘Filing System Help’ Category
Pressboard/Classification folders are stocked in multiple configurations and are available for quick shipment. BUY HERE
Here is a simple guide to determining which stock folder best matches your filing system needs.
Match height of your paper to the width of folder. Match depth of shelving system to width of folder
Letter Size Paper is 8-1/2″ wide x 11″ high
Top Tab Folder- 11-3/4″ wide x 10″ high- End Tab Folder- 12-1/4″ wide x 9-1/2″ high
Legal Size Paper is 8-1/2″ wide x 14″ high
Top Tab Folder- 14-3/4″ wide x 10″ high- End Tab Folder- 15-1/4″ wide x 9-1/2″ high
The next consideration is the type of shelving used to store the folders.
End (side tab)- Designed for use on open shelving
Top tab- designed for drawer style file cabinets
A folder with the incorrect tab location may not fit on your shelving or into your filing cabinet.
0 dividers (two filing sections)
1 divider (four filing sections)
2 dividers (six filing sections)
3 dividers (eight filing sections)
25pt Pressboard, 25% Post-Consumer Waste
2/5 (ROC-Right of Center on the Top Tab folders
Full cut side tab on Side Tab Folders
2″ Tyvek expansion on folders with zero, one, and two inner dividers
3″ Tyvek expansion on folders with four inner dividers
1″ Dual Prong clips on inner dividers
Inner dividers are 17pt Kraft
Inner dividers are 1/3rd cut
Custom pressboard folders are available in many additional configurations but usually require a minimum purchase and may be more costly, especially for small quantities.
Some reasons you want to convert may include: cost of purchasing additional filing cabinets, size of existing filing system is increasing, want to improve visibility and accessibility of records, losing space for your existing records, etc.. You may just need more space!
Where do you start?
1) The first task is to figure out how much filing capacity you currently have by measuring existing used filing inches. Take a measuring tape and measure from the beginning to the end of the folders in one drawer. If all the drawers are similarly filled and the same size you can then multiply this measurement by the number of drawers. Different size drawers will need to be measured individually. Add everything up and you know how many filing inches you are using for you files.
2)The next step is to figure out how much capacity you need for the open shelving. If you are increasing the size of your system take the percentage of increase and add it to your existing filing inches. This will give you how many filing inches you need in the open shelving.
Open shelving filing inches are easy to determine. The width of each shelve tells you how many filing inches this shelf can hold. For example: a 36” wide, 7 shelve high unit has a capacity of 252 filing inches.
3)Now look at what type of folders are currently in the file drawers. If your folders are side tab folders they can usually be used easily on open shelving. But top tab folders are another matter. The top tab is hard to see on open shelving and can sometimes be too high to fit in the space between two shelves (cutting off the top tab is a way to avoid purchasing all new folders).
4)Move the records from the drawers to your new open shelving.
A-Transfer the records into a side tab folder (this is a good time to add any planned color-coding)
B-Attach a 2-1/2” x 8” label to the side of the top tab folder to create a side tab (the top tab can be cut off if causes the folder to not fit on the shelf).
C-Move all the existing folders onto the new shelving and convert the records as they are accessed.
After making this change my guess is you will wonder why you did not make this change a long time ago!
Do you have some ideas to add?
Need folders for your new open shelving system? Efficiency Solutions carries a great side tab folder.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that all prescribing practitioner’s verbal orders be authenticated within 48 hours.
MedLaw.com’s article explains the details. Joint Commission required compliance to this rule March 11, 2009 with a change in their regulations. Additional information regarding the Joint Commission’s rule can be found here.
Since all records waiting to be scanned or filed into folders do not involve verbal orders, compliance can be tricky. How do you make sure this rule is followed?
One way to assure that records requiring this information are not processed before authentication is to use a bright, fluorescent label. This label is designed to be placed on the record where the relevant practitioner needs to sign and requests all the required information.
Here is one example of a verbal order compliance label. This label has a line identifying which doctor needs to authenticate their verbal order and the text “Please Sign and Date and Time Below”. This reminds the doctor to date and time their signature to prove compliance.
This label will scan which is very important for departments scanning their records after completion.
Size: 2-1/2” x 1”
Note! Some label colors will not show up when scanned.
Advantages of using CMS compliance labels
>Improves quality of care
>Saves time for record staff and practitioners
>Demonstrates Compliance to CMS Verbal Order Rule
>Saves money on administrative costs associated with record completion
Health care facilitates have many rules and regulations. Taking advantage of help simplifying the processes just makes sense!
To purchase these labels go to Efficiency Solutions.
Do you have additional ideas to help with the 48 CMS rule?
COLOR-CODING WITH TERMINAL DIGIT FILING
-Color-coding is very effective with terminal digit filing. Using the number 87 34 71 you would
-If you have a file room with 10,000 records and color-code the last two digits you will have 100 records in the file room filed beside each other with the same two colors. It is easy to see if someone puts a record into the wrong section since the color scheme would be broken.
-You only need to search through 100 files for a missing folder instead of 10,000 (since you know the color of the last two digits).
-Still using the example 87 34 71 if you decide to color-code the 1,000 digit also (3) in our example, that would reduce the amount of records with the same three colors to 10 records.
I recommend color-coding the 1,000 digit when the file room contains 30,000 or more records (means 30 records with the same 3 colors as opposed to 300 when coding 2 colors).
I would not recommend color-coding all the digits of the number because of the rainbow effect makes spotting misfiles difficult (too many colors) Also, why spend unnecessary money?
Read my article “Analysis of Terminal Digit” Filing for information about terminal digit filing.
Need folders or labels? Go to Efficiency Solutions for a great selection of filing products.
>What suggestions can you add to color coding terminal digit filing?
Color-coded year bands provide an economical way to distinguish time of activity of individual folders located in a filing system. A year band can be used to tell when a record was created or when the record was last accessed.
Each year is printed on the label and assigned a different color. For example, 2010 may be red while 2011 is blue. The label wraps around the side or top tab of the folder so it is visible from both sides of the folder.
What Sizes Are Available for Year Codes?
Side tab label sizes are: 3/4” high x 1-1/2” wide (most common size),
1/2” high x 1-1/8” wide, 1-7/8” x 1-7/8”.
Top tab label size is: 1” high x 1/2” wide.
What Type of Filing System Commonly Uses Year Codes?
Year codes are more commonly used in a side tab filing system (this is when folders are filed on open shelving as apposed to drawers) because these systems are often very large. Also, with open shelving you can see the colors on the labels by standing in front of the shelving.
Finding information based on the year is much quicker. If you do not put it on the front of the folder you have to go into each chart to find the year.
Another use of colored year bands is when all records from one year are filed together. If someone tries to put a record with the wrong year’s folders the color band will be different than the others in the section
When is Knowing Folder Activity Important?
Knowing folder activity is valuable in a number of instances:
If you purge based on activity.
When a study is conducted and you want to access all records from a certain year.
If you are looking for a certain record and know the year the search is quicker.
You need to follow-up on a record in a specific time period.
What if You Have too Many Records in One Year?
When one year is too long a time period (too many records) you can use two or more colors for the same year to break up the year. Or, month codes are available to distinguish each month of activity.
Benefits of Year Codes!
Using year codes saves time and after all “time is money”. Since approximately 75% of every dollar spent in filing areas is people time, using color-coded year bands will pay big dividends!
Share your ideas about using year codes.
Need year codes or folders? Efficiency Solutions is a great place to purchase both!
The order to file alphabetically by name is: last name, first name or initial, then middle name or initial.
1) To get started first determine how many records will be put into the system. This will determine how much shelving you need.
(Read my article “Questions to Ask Before Choosing Shelving for Your Files”) for help determining what type of shelving to buy.
2) Then, divide your shelving into 26 sections. Studies have determined the percentage of how many people have a last name starting with each letter of the alphabet. By using the results of these studies, you can estimate what percentage of the file room each letter will use.
File Room Alpha Breakdown
(A=3.2%) (B=9.7%) (C=8.0%) (D=4.9%) (E=2.2%) (F=3.8%)
(G=4.9%) (H=7.8%) (I=0.4%) (J=2.6%) (K=3.6%) (L=4.5%)
(M=9.3%) (N=1/7%) (O=1.3%) (P=4.5%) (Q=0.2%) (R=4.8%)
(S=10.2%) (T=3.4%) (U=0.4%) (V=1.0%) (W=6.8%) (X=0.1%)
Each section will reflect the information provided above. An easy way to designate each section is to write each letter on a piece of white tape or a blank white label. You can stick this lettered label at the start of each section.
3) Put the files in the correct section based on the first letter of the person’s last name.
(Here is a handy tool that will automatically alphabetize lists.)
4) Next, go the second letter of the surname, then the third letter, etc..
Some additional rules are:
-Surnames with prefixes (Mac, Mc., etc.), are filed as if they were one word.
-How about if the two last names are the same? Then go to the first letter of the first name.
-When someone has a title, put the title at the end of their name.
-Any abbreviations in a name should be alphabetized as
if they were spelled out (St. – saint)
-Ignore hyphens and file compound names as one unit.
For maximum efficiency-color code your alpha system.
Please share any alphabetic filing stories you might have!
Here is a great place to find supplies for your alpha filing system.
Before creating a numeric filing system for your records, it is important to decide what filing number to use.
Here are some questions along with some ideas to help you decide:
Taking the time to think through all the current and future aspects of your filing needs will help to save you time and trouble as the system grows. Nothing is worse than having thousands of records filed only to have to re-do the system because of factors not considered at the beginning.
1) How many total records are anticipated for this system?
If the system is very small what number to use is not as important. In fact, you might want to consider alphabetical filing since this may reduce the need to cross reference in order to find the record’s number.
For large filing systems a shorter number is easier to handle.
2) What numbers already exist that may be used?
Maybe a billing number, medical record number etc? If you decide to use an existing number accessibility of the number is very important. Using a computer system that contains the filing number is the most commonly used method.
3) Will you be color-coding the records?
If you decide to color-code the records a shorter number is easier to work with.
4) Where do you intend to designate the number on the folder?
Make sure the number is not so long all the numbers cannot be viewed on the folders.
5) Will sub-folders be created that need to be numbered?
If sub-folders are used another decision has to be made about how to designate the sub-folders. Using the date the sub-folder is created is a common designation method.
6) Will regular purging of the files occur?
If a sequential filing number is used purging will create holes at the beginning of the filing system which means the records must be shifted to make space for the new numbers (newer numbers will be filed at the end of the system).
7) Is confidentiality an issue with the number being considered for the record?
8) Will drawers or open shelving be used for the system?
When records are filed in drawers it is harder to see the number. A shorter number could help.
When records are filed in drawers it is harder to see the number. A shorter number could help. Also remember that filing drawer cabinets are very inefficient use of floor space.
Considering all the factors listed above will aid you when designing a numeric filing system.
Do you have any additional ideas regarding numbering folders?
Need to purchase folders or labels? Check out Efficiency Solutions for all your filing system needs.
Definition of Weight:
The weight indicates the thickness of the paper used to construct the folder. Manila folder weight is depicted in “points”. The higher the point the thicker the paper.
9 point folder- Used in very inexpensive folders that will not experience a lot of handling. Top tab folders used in home filing systems are often 9 point.
11 point folder- This is the most common weight used for business and health care filing systems when the records undergo an average amount of use. To increase the folder’s durability side and top tab reinforcement is available. With reinforcement the stress points are actually 22 point. If the entire folder was 22 point additional filing inches would be needed to accommodate the thicker folders.
14/15 point folder- Used for very active records and/or they contain a large amount of content. These folders may also be reinforced along the side or top tab to further increase the durability. Two disadvantages of a heavier weight folder is the cost and the fact that they use up more shelf space.
18 point folder- These folders often have an expansion gusset or inner dividers installed. Although gussets and dividers can be installed in 14/15 point folders they are not as strong and durable. This folder is great when the record is heavily used and sections need to be accessed quickly. Reinforcement is not used on the top/side tab of 18 point manila. Of course, these folders take up more shelf space than lighter weight folders.
Idea! Mylar reinforcement is an economical way to reinforce stress points on any of the folders above.
Now you have the information to decide which point folder will work best for your application.
Need Folders? Go to Efficiency Solutions.
Let me know of any ideas you have to increase durability of a manila folder.
Tab Dividers (also called Index Tabs) are tabbed sheets of paper inserted into a folder to separate sections of the folder.
When to Use Tab Dividers:
-If the record is very large
-When parts of the folder need to be accessed quickly
-Multiple people use sections of the file
Why Use Tab Dividers:
-Keeps the folder organized
-Saves time (time is money!)
Applications for Tab Dividers:
-Medical Records, Hospital Charts
-Banking & Financial Records
-Mortgage Loan Files
To maximize the efficiency gained by using Tab Dividers it makes sense to customize the dividers to match you particular needs. Unless the quantity is very small the price is not very different from stock dividers.
Making your own tab dividers may seem to cost less than custom, but when you compare the supplies and time (and they usually end up sloppy) used to construct these tabs they end up being more costly than custom.
I have listed below the choices you can make when designing your custom tab dividers.
1: Paper Weight- Tab Divider paper is available in 90lb. and 110lb. weights. The heavier weight helps increase the durability of heavily used dividers. 90lb. paper takes up less room in the chart and is the most commonly used weight (most of the wear and tear happens to the tabs).
2: Paper Color-Tab Divider paper is available in white index, manila, and colored paper.
3: Tab Extension-How far the tabs stick out (extension) is available in 5 sizes:
If the tabs are located on the bottom of the dividers a smaller extension has the advantage of not covering up the side tab of the chart.
For tabs located on the side of the divider larger extensions mean the text is easier to read.
4: Tab Cut-This describes how many tab positions are located on the dividers. Also described as how may tabs to a bank. The tab cut ranges from 1 tab per bank to 12 tabs per bank (1/12th cut). With each addition of a tab to the bank the width of the tab gets smaller.
4: Printing-Custom printing on the tab can be on one side or both sides of the tab. Body copy is also available.
5: Mylar Reinforcement-Mylar reinforcement on the tabs greatly increases the strength of the tab.
The holes may also have mylar reinforcement to keep them from ripping.
6: Hole Details-The holes used to attach the divider to the folder may be located on the top or the side of the divider.
You can also choose 2 holes (for folders with fasteners), 3 holes (usually for a 3 ring binder), or 5 holes (usually for a 5 ring binder). If the divider goes from a binder then into a folder 5 holes will work with both situations.
7: Collation-Dividers can be collated into sets. This is a good idea if every tab title will be used in every chart. If each chart requires different tabs collating the tabs separately is the best choice. For times when most of the tabs are used with every chart you can have those dividers collated into sets while the tabs only used with some of the charts are packaged separately.
Do you have any suggestions about paper tab dividers for file folders?
Call Efficiency Solutions for personal help designing your tab dividers!
Mobile shelving is an excellent way to increase filing inches while decreasing the amount of square footage taken up by the filing system.
But how do you figure out which type works best for your needs?
Read my article “Questions to Ask Before Choosing Shelving for Your Files” for help figuring out what your particular needs are.
I have listed three commonly used types of movable shelving along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type. I have included Rotary Files, Lateral Movable Files, and High Density Mobile Filing.