Cork University

Download PDF

Cork

Transforming Hospital Information Management

Iron Mountain has Worked Closely with Cork University Hospital to Introduce Records Management Best Practice

Challenge

To reduce the burden on hospital staff of managing increasing quantities of patient records

Solution

Off-site records management and storage service from Iron Mountain using bar coding and indexing along with a web-based portal

Value

Scalable, consistent and fast processes for storage and retrieval of patient files, allowing greater focus on patient care

Client

Founded in 1978, Cork University Hospital (CUH) is the largest university teaching hospital in Ireland, handling an average of 25,500 in-patient admissions, 27,000 day cases and 58,000 emergency cases annually. As one of Ireland’s busiest hospitals, rapid retrieval of medical files is critical to its smooth operation.

Challenge

Storage space was under increasing pressure as the volume of CUH and Health Service Executive files increased. Meanwhile, relentless growth in requests for information meant that on-site storage, retrieval and management of patient records was becoming complicated and stretching internal resources.

“As the hospital expanded, we became swamped with records and found that we were receiving more and more calls to retrieve documents,” recalls Siobhan Lynch, Medical Records Manager at CUH. “A combination of increased work flow and limited resources led us to start working with Iron Mountain.”

“The best practice that Iron Mountain has brought to our operations means we are able to maintain our focus on delivering the best possible patient care.”

Siobhan Lynch, Medical Records Manager Cork University Hospital

Solution

Iron Mountain partnered with CUH to transform information management at the hospital. A solution was designed to allow CUH to move patient files off site. It included the implementation of advanced bar-coding, with detailed indexing and internet-based technologies, to manage storage and retrieval requests – thereby ensuring continued easy access to files.

“The Iron Mountain service allows us to retrieve files easily and rapidly,” says Siobhan Lynch. “All retrieval orders now go through a high-security web portal, which is a great way to ensure transparency and ease of access for our staff. It’s a major benefit to the running of the organisation.”

Value

The Iron Mountain service ensures the secure storage and efficient management of files subject to large numbers of retrieval requests. In fact, there are some 6500 such requests per month, of which around 4000 are from the hospital’s x-ray department.

“Since we started working with Iron Mountain we’ve become more efficient and compliant in how we store, access and handle our records,” says Siobhan Lynch. “Our relationship with Iron Mountain has led to a marked improvement in our records management culture and the ability of staff to access records.”

Niall Scriven, Account Manager for CUH at Iron Mountain, adds: “Hospitals traditionally have a high level of active files that are regularly on the move from department to department. Iron Mountain services have proved to be very robust in dealing with the ever-increasing number of requests at CUH.”

“Our relationship with Iron Mountain has led to a marked improvement in our records management culture and the ability of staff to access the records.”

Siobhan Lynch, Medical Records Manager Cork University Hospital

Despite the continuing increase in activity, file retrieval performance is consistently high, with Iron Mountain delivering records next day with 99 per cent accuracy. Over 90,000 boxes of records are currently under Iron Mountain management. Some of the busiest CUH departments – such as A&E, radiography, and radiotherapy – are able to dedicate more time to treating patients, while leaving Iron Mountain to look after records management processes.

“The best practice that Iron Mountain has brought to our operations means we are able to maintain our focus on delivering the best possible patient care,” concludes Siobhan Lynch.

Related Success Stories

Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Birmingham Children’s Hospital

With Iron Mountain scanning and digitizing their emergency admission records, Birmingham’s Children’s hospital now has improved access to vital clinical records, safeguarding child welfare and improving staff productivity.

Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust

Off-site records management has seen Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust free-up valuable space and reduce costs by £1.3 million per annum