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Thinking inside the box

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The tale of the abandoned files!

With an increasing elderly population comes the need for more care and nursing homes along with a stack of patient files. Storing these safely and securely is something Filofile does for several clients in the care sector.

We were reminded of how important this is by a recent case reported by the BBC when thousands of patient files including bank details, medical records and contact information were left behind at an abandoned nursing home. Residents were taken out of Westbury House in Hampshire by police after a damning inspection in 2016.

Relatives of those who lived in the home say they are disgusted that personal files of hundreds of patients remain unsecured in the house along with residents’ belongings and pharmaceutical drugs.

Urban explorers have also been filming inside the abandoned 300-year-old building in West Meon, and are unwittingly running the risk of being part of a huge illegal data breach. The home’s owner Dr Usha Naqvi, who is responsible for securing the files, says she kept the records locked in the basement and has now hired a company to destroy them.

There are strict laws governing the keeping of records in a care home with the limitation of legal proceedings legislation placing a six year maximum period during which an action (either civil or criminal) can be brought before a court. This could apply to claims for damages made by a dissatisfied patient / relative arising out of the destruction of records.

It goes without saying that records of all medicines kept in the care home for the service user, and the date on which they were administered to the service user are very important as well as a record of any limitations agreed with the service user as to the service user’s freedom of choice, liberty of movement and power to make decisions.

It therefore makes sense to use a company like Filofile which can store many of the documents “off-site” and uses a comprehensive barcode indexing technology to track files which can be integrated seamlessly into any care or nursing home’s records management processes. When files are needed, Filofile provides a next day delivery service as standard and also a fast emergency request service for those crucial moments.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!

SOURCE: BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-hampshire-47860424/thousands-of-patient-files-left-in-westbury-house-nursing-home

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