2021 SA Records Management Award Winners Announced

Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) Manager Health Information Services, Terry Seery, and Manager Medical Records, Tanya Reid, have been announced as the winners of the 2021 Bernadette Bean SA Records Management Service Excellence Award. The award is bestowed in honour of the late Bernadette Bean.

The award judging panel selected Terry and Tanya to recognise and celebrate their exemplary leadership, innovation and teamwork which resulted in the digital transformation of the CALHN Medical Records Department from a paper medical record process to a comprehensive electronic medical record best practice environment. This included transitioning from physical based records processes with significant offsite historical patient admission file records totalling over 20,000 paper files per month and related significant third-party records storage management costs. 

The new digital environment is supported by an innovative centralised scanning model and streamlined workflow processes, complemented by a “working smarter” framework and “doing it right the first time” quality assurance improvement model.

Panel members were impressed to learn how Terry and Tanya led their dedicated colleagues to digitally transform the CALHN Medical Records Department. This included:

  • achieving over $4.7 million budget savings on offsite paper medical records management costs, and an extra $200,000 savings on scanning and IT equipment. These benefits were derived from large, complex, innovative, and highly successful electronic records management digitisation and centralised scanning initiatives implemented at SA’s flagship new Royal Adelaide Hospital, the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre and for the CALHN COVID-19 vaccination program. Around 300,000 to 340,000 CALHN documents per month are scanned with the new IT equipment
  • how the electronic medical records solutions implemented transformed paper inpatient admission and outpatient attendance health files and medical records to an electronic medical records management environment, with major efficiencies, improved records integrity and other benefits realised for clinicians, administrative staff, the community and the state. These benefits include improved clinical service delivery and patient safety with real-time access to concise, contemporary and high quality electronic patient health information and medical records
  • extensive consultation and change management programs and cultural change implemented across multiple clinical, administrative and executive personnel and teams to streamline core workflows, and improve scanning and quality assurance processes. These initiatives positively impacted on clinicians and other users involved in creating, accessing, updating and managing patient health files and medical records
  • the education and training/upskilling of existing medical records staff. These efforts led to significantly improved team values, morale, satisfaction and retention of valuable team members; and a sustainable best practice work environment conducive to continuous improvement initiatives and providing support for other teams
  • how these best practice digital transformation and centralised scanning models, efficient workflow process improvements and advanced quality assurance initiatives are capable of being scaled and easily adapted to improve service delivery. This includes across diverse services, local health networks and multiple healthcare facilities.

The sheer impact and scale of the efficiency outcomes, savings and other benefits led by Terry and Tanya through their complex digital transformation initiatives were seen as outstanding by the panel.  Supporting “before” and “after” snapshot graphs, examples and other content included in their nomination provided clear evidence of their contributions, and the major savings and other benefits realised for patients, clinicians, administrative staff, the community and the state.

The award governance committee thanks the Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia (RIMPA) for their ongoing endorsement and generous support of this award. As the winners of the award, Terry and Tanya win the 2021 Bernadette Bean SA award prize package, as well as additional prizes generously contributed by RIMPA.

Terry and Tanya also become a shortlisted RIMPA company nominee for the prestigious annual RIMPA Company Outstanding Achievement Awards – Outstanding Group category.

The strong field of nominations received this year led the panel to bestow 2021 service excellence award merit certificates to each of the following recipients:

  • Corporate Information Management Team, City of Onkaparinga
  • Rita Novia, Senior Document and Records Management Consultant, Primary Industries and Regions SA
  • Kerry O’Donohue, Records Management Coordinator, SA Dental, Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Head over to the award website Current and Past Award Nominations page to learn about each award recipients' outstanding achievements; and why their records and information management leadership, digital transformation, innovation, technology, knowledge sharing/education, dedication and other capabilities are being recognised.

The panel congratulates all 2021 award recipients on their records management service excellence. This recognition is particularly deserving this year given the last 12 to 18 months have challenged everyone in extraordinary ways to find innovative, agile and resilient practices and digital solutions to help their organisations, teams and individuals pivot to working and connecting remotely, whilst navigating the significant impacts of COVID-19, bushfires and other disruptions.