JIS News

The southern regional office of the Jamaica Medical Records Association on (Oct. 18) held an open day and exhibition to highlight the importance of proper records management in the health care system.
The event, held under the theme: ‘The Business of Managing Health Records and Information’, was part of activities to mark Health Records Week from October 15 to 20. Scores of health records personnel from the northeast, southeast and the western regions were in attendance.
Director of Health Records Services in the Ministry of Health, Yvette Chambers, in her remarks at the opening, said that records of patients must be properly managed.
She advised that “when medical or health records are documented there must be a procedure for ensuring that they are accurate, adequate, complete and accessible”. She noted that “too often, we find that patients will visit the health care institutions and .their records cannot be located. The health or medical record is the property of the hospital and should not be removed from the hospital’s compound except by a court order. It should be accessible at all times”, she emphasised.
According to Mrs. Chambers, “the idea of a Health Records Week is a good one.because it provides an opportunity to educate other members of the health care staff and the public about health records management practices”.
She acknowledged that the health records discipline was not well understood in Jamaica but “those of you who have had formal training have the responsibility to educate others about your profession”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Mandeville Regional Hospital Paulette Elliot, in her remarks, noted that “the medical records facility is the axis on which a hospital operates” and that “the duties of the medical records personnel have become more and more difficult over the years”.
In addition to the various presentations by personnel within the health sector, the event also featured variety of exhibitions and entertainment by staff at the Mandeville Hospital and a drama group from the Spanish Town Hospital. The Registrar General’s Department in Mandeville also participated in the day’s activities.
Other activities planned to mark Health Records Week in the southern region include a seminar on ‘HIV/AIDS in the Workplace’ today (Oct. 19) at the May Pen Hospital, and a national fun day at the Starfish Hotel in Trelawny on Friday (Oct. 20).
Health Records Week was last celebrated in 1972.