Evaluation of records management practices at Infectious Disease Institute
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The purpose of the study was to evaluate the Records Management Practices at the Infectious Disease Institute, Makerere University. The objectives of the study were to; identify the types of records generated; evaluate the Records Management Practices; identify the challenges of Records Management; and propose strategies to improve Records Management Practices at Infectious Diseases Institute. The study used a case study research design while adopting a qualitative approach to data collection. Data were obtained through the use of interviews and observation methods. In the study, one (1) records manager, two (2) records officers and two (2) secretaries were purposively selected to participate in the study. The study established that IDI generates a number of records which include; personnel records, financial records, legal records, administrative records and research records which exist in both paper and electronic formats. There are various Records Management Practices at IDI which include; creation of records, registration of all the records, tracking devices used for records, folioing of records, classification of records, filling of records, storage of the records and maintaining security of records at IDI. The study also revealed different loopholes for the Records Management Practices at IDI which include; ineffectiveness of the excel and Navision applications, incompliance from the staff, delay with the files, inadequate backups, insecurity of records, misplacement of record files and the lack of a Records management policy. The study established the measures for improving Records Management Practices at IDI and these included; routine personal check on records while they are in action transit, staff training about the principles of records management, regular file audit/ census, allocating more funds to the records department, employ more trained records staff, automation of records management systems, improve on the records filing system. The study concluded that Infectious diseases institute generates a wide range of records though 70% of the records were in paper form. There a number of records management practices carried out to ensure that the records are easily accessible and used at IDI, however there are challenges associated with the management of records which hinders their accessibility. Thus, it is expedient to suggest strategies for improving records management at the Infectious Diseases Institute. The study recommendations were digitisation of the records, training of idi staff on records management, developing records management policies, designing effective records management systems, developing a schedule for retention and disposal of records, improve on the storage of the records, introducing retention and disposal schedules, and employing qualified and skilled records staff.