|Description||Material relating to the Patient Services and Medical Records Department (and its predecessor Central Registry) of St Bartholomew's Hospital and the City and Hackney Health District, principally comprising:|
Reports, papers and surveys relating to the reorganisation of the central records departments in St Bartholomew's Hospital and the City & Hackney Health Districts, 1939-1984;
Report documenting the developments of the programme to introduce computers to support patient care in departments such as Cardiology and the Critical Care Unit, 1972; reports and guides relating to the introduction of a computerised patient administration system (PAS) at St Bartholomew's Hospital and across the City & Hackney Health Authority, 1980-1992;
Records relating to personnel and staffing, including: Central Registry staff attendance books, 1949-1964; Departmental staff handbooks, 1969-1983;
Patient handbooks, leaflets and guides, 1966-1995;
Proposed policies and procedures for the admission of new patients, 1983-1984.
|Administrative history||St Bartholomew's Hospital first established a Medical Records Library in 1547 and a medical library in 1667, although none of the earliest medical records survive, and the earliest admission registers in the archives date from 1818. Official Hospital patient records after 1841 were filed under the name of the physician or surgeon in charge of the case. When the file was about four inches high, the papers were bound together in book form and an index was made for the surnames of patients and an index for diseases. |
This system lasted until 1921 when the Hospital adopted the 'unit system' which established the principle of a comprehensive single case file for each patient irrespective of the number of specialities involved. Patients were allocated an individual registration number based on their gender and date of first admission. The record was then filed in numerical order. Used in conjunction with an alphabetical index to the patients names which recorded the registration number, in theory an individual's file could be retrieved easily to record subsequent treatments. A Central Registration Bureau was established to administer the new system.
By the 1970s, responsibility for the central administration of patient records came under the Patient Services and Medical Records Department.
The collection consists of records relating to the work and administration of the Department. Case notes, admissions registers and other medical records, including some formerly maintained by the Department, are catalogued with reference SBHB/MR.