The Mater Health Service in Queensland comprises hospitals, health centres, pathology and pharmacy services. They are located in many areas in and around Brisbane, Queensland caring for patients of all ages. Mater provides exceptional care across a broad range of clinical areas with a strong focus on cancer and neurosciences, women’s health and neonatal services, and the care of young adults and adolescents.
The Mater Hospital had a location which housed secondary medical records storage and had been sold for re-development, with the developers requiring a tight deadline for clearing the site. Grace Information & Records Management (Grace Information Management) were engaged to remove all of the medical files, place them in cartons and transfer them offsite to a Grace Group storage facility. All medical files had to be processed within 12 hours of collection to be made available for retrieval on the same day they were collected.
While this business was not put out to tender, quotations were sought from possible providers. Grace Information Management had developed a strong working relationship with the client through regular contact and understood their requirements. Following a presentation of the proposed solution, Grace Information Management were awarded the business.
The time pressure of the project, not only to make the files available within 12 hours of collection but also because the Mater site had to be cleared within six weeks, two Grace Information Management staff members were on site full time. Grace Information Management trucks undertook the continuous transportation from the medical records site to the storage facility. The sensitive nature of the documentation meant that staff members underwent a thorough screening process which included work reference checks and a national Police Clearance. In addition, every staff member was required to complete a Company Confidentiality Deed as part of their employment terms. With all staff being permanent Grace Information Management employees, this was a straightforward process to monitor and maintain.
All Grace Information Management facilities maintain a high level of security with all sites enclosed within perimeter fencing, which at some sites includes electrification. Sites also have intruder-resistant barriers, closed-circuit TV and 24-hour monitored back-to-base alarms. Access to storage areas within the facilities is restricted to authorised personnel only. The project involved removing 230,000 files that were packed into 11,350 cartons within a six week timeframe. Up to 400 files were barcoded and entered into a database every 24 hours, approximately 60 files per hour.
It was necessary to have a rapid turnaround time for the project as practitioners still needed access to the patient records. An “emergency” category was stipulated by the client which specified files had to be provided within two hours of the request being made. The client had access to GRACE-WEB a secure online web-based portal for search and retrieval and to request the provision of the required files. This is a free service afforded to each Grace Information Management client depending on the service they have contracted. In accordance with the legal provisions for the retention of documentation, the files will eventually be destroyed. In the meantime, they are archived in a secure Grace Information Management storage facility.
The agreed project time frame was six weeks and it was completed within five weeks. The client feedback reported 100% success and satisfaction with the ongoing service.
Due to the success of the initial project and similar requirements for other sites, the Mater has indicated further business is a possibility with Grace Information Management.