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TitleMedical records management practices in public and private hospitals in Umhlathuze area, South Africa
AuthorLuthuliu, Lungile Precious
Subjectcomparative -- ICTs -- KwaZulu-Nata --lmedical records -- private hospital --public sector -- service delivery -- South Africa
AbstractThis study investigates the different medical records management regimes within public and private hospitals in the Umhlathuze Area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The study made a comparison and examined whether the current management practices support service delivery in the context of the Batho Pele principles. In doing this, the study reviewed extensive literature on records management standards and theories, legislative framework of medical records in order to establish the extent of the level of compliance to the set regulatory framework in the management of medical records in South Africa. It also assessed the depth of the integration of ICTs in the management of medical records in South Africa. The targeted study sample in both the public and private hospital was 193. Of these, only 180 responded and this represented a respondent‟s rate of 93.5%. The study was largely a quantitative research. The study adopted a survey research design and used multiple forms of data collection techniques such as structured questionnaires, observations and document review. Quantitative data collected was analysed to obtain some descriptive statistics while qualitative data was analysed using content analysis to derive particular themes pertinent to the study. The two sets of results were compared and contrasted to produce a single interpretation and then conclusions were drawn. The study findings established that the records management practices in both hospitals were not well entrenched thus undermining quality health service delivery. This was evidenced by lack of awareness and existence of the records management policies and procedures manual; lack of adherence records management standard; lack of security measures, with rampant cases of missing files, folios and torn folders; delays in access and use of records; lack of an elaborate electronic records management programme and low levels of skill and training opportunities in records management. The use of paper records is still dominant in the public hospital; while the electronic medical record system was in place in the private hospital with some degree of success even though implementation challenges continue to exist. The integration of ICTs in the management of medical records was more evident in the private hospital while the public hospital continues to be underfunded undermining the current capacity for effective medical records management. The role of accurate, reliable and trustworthy medical records in the ii | P a g e context of quality health service delivery in accordance with Batho Pele principle in both hospitals remains problematic. In order to enhance the role of medical records for quality service delivery, the study recommended that a regulatory framework for records management should be developed and implemented in both hospitals. It is also recommended that more technical and human resource capacity is required in the public hospital to help speed up the services to its user while the private hospitals need to entrench their evolving capabilities in medical records management. The study further recommends that training around records management should be provided to all staff that deal with medical records management in both hospitals.
AbstractA dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Arts in fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Masters (Information Science) in the Department of Library and Information Studies at the University of Zululand, 2017
PublisherUniversity of Zululand