Hospital scrambles to find four years worth of records

As more practices within the health care industry implement paperless office solutions, physicians may argue that they like their traditional paper records. Even though these methods have worked for decades, they are not always efficient when other technologies can do a better job streamlining operations.

At Hamilton Health Services (HHS) in Canada, the staff has no choice but to go through thousands of documents to figure out where their budget went between 2007-2011, according to The Spectator.

The practice's finance department said it will take five-and-a-half months to look through 23,500 paper invoices from its offsite storage facility. HHS thought it would benefit doing this because it cost the facility $3,600, but board members appealed to make the office reveal these records regardless of its specific situation.

HHS' refusal to publicly show its balance sheets violates the state's Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act. Canada law requires all public entities to keep six years worth of financial statements in case there are tax discrepancies.

"These weren't archival records from 30 years ago," Fred Vallance-Jones, leader of the audit, told the source. "In an atmosphere of increasing expectation that records on expenditures should be public, you'd hardly expect them to be squirreled away in some dark storage room somewhere and to cost thousands of dollars to get them out."

Taking the necessary steps to change a business' process software takes time, but the pay-off can save a lot people from possible headaches. Businesses within the private and public sector can benefit from electronic document management. This way, organizations can easily retrieve information that local governments may need.


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