Book News: November 16th, 1999

This Audit Commission update on the 1995 report looks at the changes hospitals have made to the storage, archiving, structure and content of health records. It includes the results of a recent survey with feedback from 225 trusts. It notes improvements in retrieval rates of casenotes for use at outpatient clinics, fewer libraries storing hospital records, and an improved standard of record keeping. The higher status of records managers has helped bring about improvements. Some 80 per cent of trusts use or are planning to use electronic casenote tracking, and some trusts have invested in document image processing. Almost two-thirds of trusts have plans for electronic patient records. The update also highlights failures to get records available in time for clinics and a variable standard of record keeping.Setting the Records Straight: a Review of Progress in Health Records Services (ISBN 1 86240 188 8) is available from Audit Commission Publications on freephone 0800 502030, price 5 pounds. Link