News and Notices

Putting paper in the past

Rooms and corridors stacked with boxes of paper medical records will become a thing of the past, as will the immeasurable hours spent filing, managing and retrieving paper records.

The launch of the new digital scanning bureau in the medical records department marks a huge leap forward for the NMH 'paper-lite' programme.

Paper records are now being digitalised and made accessible from Health Connect South through the new eRecords system.

A huge amount of preparation was involved for the medical records team who have been trained in file preparation, scanning, indexing and quality control.

Business process analyst Grant Pownall says the new HCS location will make it easier to find the information clinicians and administrators need with both simple views and smart searches.

“More than one doctor, nurse or administrator will be able to view the record at the same time eliminating the ‘churn’ as people compete for the paper chart,” Grant says.

Another benefit is the improved privacy safeguards – viewers need to have a login and their actions are recorded for auditing purposes.

Only ‘core’ medical records managed by the medical records team at Nelson and Wairau hospitals are being digitalised.  

eRecords: The benefits

  • new search functionality will make it easier to find relevant information for doctors and nurses, potentially leading to better clinical decision-making
  • more than one person can view the record at the same time
  • auditors will be able to find relevant information more easily
  • the risk of loss due to asbestos contamination, fire or water damage is reduced
  • the need for physical records storage space is reduced
  • improved privacy safeguards
  • it supports the electronic availability of some records to patients in the future via a patient portal
  • environmental and cost benefits are achieved through reduced use of paper and printing resources
  • productivity gains for the medical records team and administrators who have historically spent a lot of time handling paper records.