A framework to align patient records management practices with healthcare provisions in the public hospitals in Limpopo province
Records management frameworks have always played a central role in ensuring effective records management in organisations, but if not properly aligned with business systems and workflow, patients’ records become difficult to manage effectively. The ineffective management of records creates problems for service providers or records end-users and their clients. For instance, records may be lost or misfiled, which eventually makes it impossible for patients healthcare service providers or records end-users and their clients to access the patient’s health and medical history. This study sought to propose a framework for use by healthcare institutions to align their medical records management processes with the healthcare service business process or workflow in the Limpopo province, South Africa. The researcher used a questionnaire to collect quantitative data, supported by data collected using the observation method. The author discovered that the current practice of records management in the healthcare institutions of the Limpopo province in South Africa is not aligned with healthcare service delivery, which has a negative impact on the safety and security of medical records. This resulted in healthcare providers not having access to the medical records of their patients, which is vital in assessing patients’ medical status. The recommendation made here is that healthcare institutions should use a recommended medical records management framework to align their records management processes with healthcare service delivery, so as to strengthen safety and security and allow healthcare providers appropriate access to medical records, as part of the workflow process.