Assessment of records storage and retrieval at Uganda Heart Institute registry, Mulago
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Records storage and retrieval is a vital aspect in supporting health institutions and the study below was focused on the assessment of records storage and retrieval at Uganda Heart Institute, Mulago with the objectives of establishing the current status of records storage and retrieval, finding out how records storage and retrieval is managed, identifying the challenges of records storage and retrieval and making suggestions for the best practices in records storage and retrieval. The study adopted a case study design. Data was collected using observation, interview, and document analysis data collection methods. The study used a sample of 6 respondents which included: 2 Records Officers, 3 Assistant Records Officers and 1 Head of Records Department. The findings revealed that UHI registry stored records mainly on paper format. The different types records stored included; personnel, administrative, subject and financial records where their storage methods included; vertical, horizontal, alphabetic and subject storage methods. The storage equipment used in the registry included: open shelves, lockable cabinets, box files and acid free boxes. The status findings of records retrieval indicated that records were mainly retrieved manually using alphabetic and subject methods. The retrieval tools used included: registers which were subdivided into 3 categories such as: master, incoming and outgoing registers. The findings indicated that UHI registry had professional records staff though they did not strictly follow rules and regulation governing the registry. The records storage was also at a risk since there were no preventive measures against risks such as fire and water. The finding revealed that there was inadequate staff to do records retrieval with inadequate training management of record retrieval revealed inadequate staffing with inadequate staff training. The procedures for records retrieval included; records request, check in the register for reference, check where the record is filed, records retrieval among others. The findings revealed challenges which included: inadequate space, inadequate funding for records storage and congestion and misfiling for records retrieval. The suggestions for the challenges on records storage included; automation of paper records, proper budgeting and the suggestion for records retrieval included; proper filing and disposal of outdated records. The study recommendations included: digitization of records, staff training, making strict rules and regulations, proper budgeting, recruitment of more records staff and establishing a record center.