Work to improve the availability of health records for outpatient appointments has been recognised by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust with the latest monthly staff award being given to Health Records staff who work across the Trust’s sites.
The availability of health records for outpatient appointments was a significant concern identified by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) during its inspection of the Trust in 2015. Work to address the issue is one of the many improvements being made by the organisation in response to the CQC’s findings.
In the last nine months, new ways of working have been introduced to the health records department, including significant investment in a system to electronically tag patient notes so their location can be tracked. This has resulted in more than 99% of health records now being available for the average 8,300 outpatient appointments that happen in the Trust each week.
This improvement means that clinicians have all the information they need available to them before they see the patient and so do not need to spend time in appointments going back over a patient’s medical history. It has also meant a reduction in the number of temporary notes being created, so all notes about a patient are kept in their correct individual file.
The teams were nominated for the award by Associate Director of Operations, Liz Fellows, who said: “Thanks to the hard work and commitment of the teams, we have been able to make a vast improvement in the availability of Health Records for outpatient consultations.
“Regularly achieving more than 99% of health records availability is an exceptional level of performance and the teams should be acknowledged for the effort they have made.”
Chairman David Clayton-Smith visited the teams earlier this month to present them with their award.