Timely and accurate record keeping can save lives, and the state-run Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) today officially opened its newly refurbished Medical Records Department (MRD), with Director of Support Services Louise Bobb hailing the development as “a new paradigm in the implementation of the core modules of a national health information management system”.
The hospital official also reported that the drive to upgrade the MRD began in March 2009 with a suggestion from her predecessor, Maria Boyce.
Since then some $600,000 have been spent and in terms of the actual filing process, which started in December 2015, the QEH has been able to archive “72,000 patient notes and death records” and has over 400,000 files of patient information.
The Electronic Medical Records (EMR) has been implemented in such areas as Central Admissions, Appointments, and in coding and indexing.
“We have successfully completed the digitization of oncology records, so that very soon our staff in that area will be using EMR to access staff information, and this process will take place incrementally throughout all of our departments,” Bobb explained.
The hospital had also trained all 52 employees in the Records Department at the Barbados Community College in Health Information Management, “and as practitioners in that field, they will now be able to pass on their knowledge to others within the system,” she said.
Bobb, as well as Project Consultant Geoffrey Trotman, also spoke of the physical attributes of the storage space used for the files.
The new filing system is set up in such a way that the files can be stored for up to 30 years, and according to Trotman, “we have also put silica gel with the files to prevent mold build up, and the room is fully compliant with archival and fire safety standards.
“All the information has also been recorded via Infinix software, with each file having a separate code that can be accessed by any department within the hospital,” he added.