Ways to Manage Your Inactive Records
The problem with inactive records is that they take up so much space. You cannot dispose of them until the legally allotted time. Did you know that the overwhelming majority of historic records are never accessed? Those that are generally required just one access. Only a small handful requires multiple use. That is a lot of storage space (network or warehouse). What else could you do with them?
Use a Third Party Manager
The most obvious is that you outsource your record storage and access to Record Grabber. We are a professional service with many years of experience in this industry. We know how long to keep these records and how to manage and store them effectively, taking the hard work of records management away from legal and medical professionals. Our complex method of storage is designed for easy and quick access.
Keep Inactive Records Offsite
While you are organizing outsourcing your historic records, you may wish to separate out those that are nearing the end of their life. Anything with a year or less could go in off-site storage. These can include records that have never been accessed and are therefore unlikely to become live again any time soon. Keeping records off-site can be expensive, but it is one way of freeing up physical space in your offices.
Organize by Active and Inactive
It may be the simplest thing to store records by date of intervention or by alphabetical order, but this could mean sifting through very old records. It may be advisable to use these divisions, but separate them out into a “traffic light” system of red, amber and green. Green can be the most active, amber as semi-active and red as inactive files nearing the end of their lives. Any color code would be useful, so long as the system is clearly defined.
Handling Digital Older Records
If your record keeping system is largely digital, the theories may be the same but the execution different. Depending on how you store your records digitally, you may wish to design a separate program or store them on portable media (such as removable hard disks, flash drives or DVD ROMs). This way, it stops your current database from taking up too much space while making access for live files easier.
Storage of inactive files can be problematic for healthcare professionals, legal experts and medical centers, but it is important to remember legal obligations regarding storage of historic records.
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