Anna Owen is a Program Specialist for the Department of Human Services, Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD), though she is often referred to as the Records Compliance Officer. In her position she responds to GRAMA and HIPAA requests, as well as maintains the electronic records within the Division’s system, which can include both electronic and paper records management.
Anna has been managing DSPD’s records since 2009 and added the GRAMA component to her job in 2012. Her position shift in 2012 had two main components: Anna began to manage the GRAMA requests for the entire Division state-wide, rather than a single region; she also began the conversion of DSPD’s records to electronic format. She states that the latter was her biggest hurdle so far. She has guided her team to convert the files of over 6,700 clients (housed in large hard binders) to their electronic system. By December of 2013, the project was mostly completed, with a few exceptions that she is working on. We can all agree that is an amazing accomplishment for any records officer.
Anna has also taken on the Role of DSPD’s Assistant HIPAA Privacy Officer, as the Division was recently classified as a HIPAA-covered agency. Anna has been a leader in ensuring that DSPD’s policies and procedures are compliant with both HIPAA and GRAMA. She sees this as her current challenge, and is working to implement the added tracking and evaluation processes that come with this new role.
Anna’s work ethic has been recognized by her co-workers, who tell us that she takes her job very seriously and is profoundly respectful of the privacy of the individuals receiving services through DSPD. She goes out of her way to attend training classes on records management, GRAMA, and HIPAA and then trains the Division’s workforce on the importance of properly handling their records. She goes out of her way to ensure that DSPD personnel understand records management best practices and is always looking for ways to improve their systems, policies, and procedures. Anna is innovative and a creative problem solver.
We asked Anna what tools and advice she would like to share with other records officers and she said she loves using Adobe Acrobat X Pro.
She also says: Breathe!
Take your time (the time allowed by GRAMA, LOL!), be thorough – review, review, review – and ask for help if you need it. Make sure you understand the documents you will be working with. Keep in mind there’s no black and white but grey areas that need evaluating.
Thanks for all your hard work Anna! We are glad to have you as one of our GREAT records officers!