Worcester Street Medical Practice - Stourbridge
Worcester Street Surgery is a 10 partner (22 Doctor) General Practice in Stourbridge, West Midlands serving the needs of over 25000 patients across five sites.
They are a teaching Practice having affiliation with Birmingham University and are currently working towards a premises move to a new single site purpose built Health Centre.
Concerned with both availability of space and records management, the Practice undertook a review of its current premises and the records storage methods that were in place.
In addition to this they also assessed the design and layout plans for the new building with the goal of maximising the space available for clinical services.
With this in mind the Practice looked at various solutions to increase space and improve their records management in addition to saving the staff time involved in these processes. The Practice needed to address the storage of their 25000 plus paper copy medical records but few options were available. Consideration for scanning the records was given but costs; both initial and on-going were found to be prohibitive. The alternative was to store the records away from the Practice but to achieve this a solution was needed that was both secure and ensured access to the records when needed.
Research led Worcester Street Surgery to noteSpace – our secure off-site storage service that is designed specifically for General Practice.
We visited the Practice and met with key staff to discuss their needs. The meeting was very positive and staff, from senior partner to the Admin team, were enthusiastic about the possibility of removing the ‘paper mountain’ from the Practice.
Following this initial meeting we arranged for the Practice to visit the storage centre that was local to them and where their records would be held. The Practice were able to see directly how their specific requirements would be met. To see how CCTV and fire and flood protection were used to enhance security allayed staff concerns regarding extra security measures.
Subsequently at Worcester Street’s partners meeting the decision to employ Niche’s noteSpace solution was taken.
Following this the first step was a ‘preliminary’ visit – effectively a visit that enables the noteSpace team and the Practice to create a project plan for the ‘clear down’ of the records. In doing this we also agreed a start date. Worcester Street’s project lead at the Practice Nick Jackson says ‘the initial visit was key and ensured the process of clear down was as painless as it could be and resulted in minimal disruption during the week that the noteSpace team were with us'
‘Once complete with all required records removed from the Practice, we had the noteSpace software installed on various workstations and the staff were amazed when they were trained to retrieve and manage records in under 10 minutes!’
Practice Manager Catherine Bateman concludes:
‘It has been over four months since we had the records removed and the system works exactly as we hoped with the records arriving as requested at the Practice on our weekly delivery.
We are saving staff time in retrieving and managing the records, we have created space in reception having removed over 20 cabinets and freed up rooms that were previously full of records.
Our working environment has a less oppressive feel as we are no longer drowning under a mountain of paper but the GP’s have the records on their desks when they need them in the same way as when the records were held on site.’
It has been a great cleansing process for the Practice and we are excited to move to the new building which instead of having a large records room which is effectively dead space we will now have an additional 3 consulting rooms due to the decision we made.’