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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The future role of the health record administrator : a Delphi-survey Szabo, Irma


The voluntary North American accreditation movement, born at the beginning of this century with the intent to improve the standards of medical care and teaching, decreed that the clinical records should reflect the care given to the patients. As a consequence, the occupation of Medical Record Librarian, recently renamed Health Record Administrator, has grown rapidly over the past few decades. In Canada, this growth was more numerical than substantive, and the types and quality of health record administration services—discussed later, did not meet the needs of the health care system. Within the occupation, there is serious concern about its continued viability. For these various reasons, the adaptability of the health record administrator to the scientific, technological and social changes taking place in the health field is investigated here. To study the question, the health record administrator occupation was examined in the context of the changing status of health information within the Canadian health care delivery system and the jostling professionalization of the health occupations. These two major forces are believed to have great impact upon the health record administrator occupation in its quest for survival. The Delphi-method developed by the Rand Corporation was used to elicit the predictions of some members of the health occupations as to the potential development or regression of the role of the Health Record Administrator in the future. The findings of this study show that the health occupations, and particularly the medical profession have acknowledged needs for health information and health information management services. They have forecast a strong administrative role for the future Health Record Administrator, while giving equal importance to a participative role as collaborator providing the health occupations with the information services that they require for the performance of their own duties. They also visualize the integration of the various sectors of the health field with the Health Record Administrator being a potential agent of this integration process.

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