The Oaks Medical Centre in Great Barr consists of three surgeries, Kings Road, Old Oscott Lane and Streetly. Across the three sites approximately 10,500 records were held.
Kings Road and Old Oscott Lane surgeries are soon to be moving to a new building to escape the crumbling and cramped conditions that staff and patients currently endure.
Management of records across the site has been extremely problematic for staff as Lloyd George records were held separately to associated letter files and also records were stored at various locations across the three sites.
It often took a ridiculously long time to locate the records once at the correct site as various methods were in use for storage including a secure shed that is located across a garden, cupboards and shelves in various offices and a bursting cabinet room. Staff spend much of their working time driving between practices daily to locate the different parts of a patient’s medical record before returning to the admin base at Kings Road.
Once in the new building, space will be used to offer additional facilities and services. The admin staff will use the noteSpace software to electronically manage the flow of records into and out of the building and were comforted by the Scan on Demand service where records can be delivered electronically back to the practice within four hours if necessary.
There have been challenges to face in ‘clearing down’ these surgeries of their medical records, both in terms of logistics and cataloguing associated records together. The difficulties however have not impacted the surgeries in any way and a week after initial meetings, the records were removed and the surgeries are enjoying the benefits of noteSpace before they have had to leave for the new premises.
In order to show the journey of the records from The Oaks Medical Centre, Niche Health followed the journey of the records once they had been ‘cleared down’ by Niche’s representatives’ from Box-it, our secure storage partners.
The regional office of Box-it where the records were delivered was the Central Box-it facility. Records were taken by GPRS-tracked vans (with starter motor inhibited if doors are not locked shut).
The site has a range of security measures including perimeter fencing and gated access with swipe card/intercom access, motion-activated colour CCTV covering all external walls. Box-it also has ISO27001:2005 Information Security Accreditation and Moody’s Accreditation auditing.
Once at the site, Lloyd George records were reunited with associated letter files and then catalogued individually and given a unique barcode to ensure anonymity. This barcode is scanned and referenced to the records NHS number and entered in the Box-it software. Records without correct NHS numbers are returned to the practice. The box itself has a related barcode and this is used in conjunction with a location barcode in the warehouse.
Once a week Box-it will make a delivery to The Oaks of any requested records through noteSpace and will remove any records that are ready to return to storage.
Julie Caine and Debbie Collier who handle the administrative processing of records said, ‘It cannot be underestimated how much the service will positively impact our daily working. To have the records securely off-site is such a relief!’