Feature Content

Thought leadership: Restore Records Management on releasing space for clinical care and improving patient records inventory

Content by Restore Records Management

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has released 2092.7m2 of space, re-utilised for clinical space, specifically trauma.

Partnering with Restore Records Management since 2018, the trust relocated over 340,000 records, with requirements to access patient records 24 hours a day and ensure processes for emergency access when required.

The project aimed to tackle the challenge of around 59,000 boxes of medical records across the trust, with two sites used as medical libraries. Both libraries were currently utilised for the storage and management of live and inactive patient files, with teams of medical records staff based at both locations, retrieving, refiling, and preparing records for clinics.

Files always available

One of the sites had 270,000 active patient records to store offsite, and required a solution for the picking and retrieval of 1,500 files and refiles per day. The challenge was not only to relocate the records but also to ensure the files were always available. Same day delivery and within four hours was key.

The second site had 70,000 active patient records the trust wanted to be scanned but were waiting on budget. As an interim to quickly release the much-needed space for patient care, the trust required off-site storage as a cost-effective solution.

Success of the project

Hampshire Hospitals were heavily reliant on paper records so needed to have confidence that they were going to be handled in the right way. They required access to the patient records 24 hours a day and with emergency access. A big risk was not having access to the records and having to cancel an appointment.

Restore Records Management provided a dedicated team of nine on site for six months to meet the tight timescales and reduce the risk of not being able to access active patient files.

Full accessibility and trackability were required during the process. The trust provided access to their system, and tracked out each file on the trust’s PAS system first. Restore Records Management then packed the tracked files into boxes, applied a Restore Records Management box barcode to each box, and a file barcode to each file. Every file was then scanned to the box on the Hampshire Hospitals site, using the Restore file barcode and the trust barcode, which contains the hospital number and volume. Each file was barcoded and put onto the system.

From day one the retrieval service needed to start. The Restore Records Management solution meant that all files retrieved and returned will be tracked on the trust’s Patient Administration System, as well as the Restore Records Management system. Giving the trust complete visibility and assurance regarding the location of each file via their existing systems.

Key facts

  • Time scales – completed within six months
  • 340,000 active patient files stored
  • 7m2 space for patient care
  • Helped redeploy staff as no longer releasing 1,500 files a day
  • Collecting on average 300 boxes, up to 5k files a day

Wider trend

Earlier this year, Stefan Chetty, director of public services at Restore Records Management, shared with HTN eight ways a hybrid system can improve the patient record experience for NHS trusts.

Restore Records Management also shared their insights on how getting your physical solution ‘digital ready’ is the key to the age-old dream of a paperless NHS.

Explore further

To find out more, visit the Restore Records Management website here.