National Standard Operating Procedure for Filing Archiving and Disposal of Patient Records
The purpose of this Guideline is to explain to healthcare professionals and administrative employees what their records management obligations are in terms of the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act.
Patient records form an essential part of a patient’s existing and future healthcare needs. As a written collection of information about a patient’s health and treatment, they are used essentially for the immediate and continuing care of the patient. If a medical record cannot be located, the patient may come to harm because information, which may be vital for their continuing care, is not available. Proper filing and arching will reduce the time that patients wait for the retrieval of their records while the correct disposal of records will ensure that only records that are eligible for destruction are destroyed.