This is Jonathan Wagner, co-director of Compliance and Risk Management, and I wanted to provide you an update regarding Records Management at NEOMED.
I know your time is valuable, so the “Too Long; Didn’t Read (TL;DR)” version of this article is that we 1) created a new Records Management policy, 2) are updating our Records Retention Schedule, 3) updated our Public Records policy and 4) are offering classroom training sessions on records management Sept. 10, 17 and 24. To register and for more information on the training sessions, please see the brief registration form.
If you have a few additional minutes, some additional background on Records Management can be found below.
Records Management Background
As NEOMED has grown over the years, so too has the volume of information we use. The ability for each us to meet the needs of our academic, administrative, and research communities is facilitated, in large part, by using accurate and timely information. Unfortunately, in an increasingly information-based world, we face many types of related issues including:
- Using inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete information;
- Not being able to find information; and
- Being inundated with too much information.
Some food for thought - whether here at NEOMED or within your personal lives, how much time during a week do you think you’ve spent looking for, sifting through, or recreating information? While sometimes necessary, these efforts are often inefficient uses of our time. At times when information is needed, we should be able to find that information quickly and easily. To this end, we have been re-evaluating our approach to Records Management here at NEOMED. Our goals are to:
- Develop Records Management policies and procedures that are relevant for the current University environment;
- Enable the effective and economical methods for managing records of the University; and
- Align with laws related to the management of institutional records.
As you may have read above, we have created a new Records Management policy and are making updates to our Records Retention Schedule to assist us in achieving our goals. While I encourage you to review the policies when you have time, I am sympathetic to everyone’s various time commitments; therefore, a brief overview of Record Management’s 5 W’s (What, Why, Who, Where, When) is provided below. Also – we are offering classroom training sessions on records management Sept. 10, 17 and 24! To register and for more information on the training sessions, please see the brief registration form.
Records Management Overview
What is the Records Management? Records Management is the administrative and systematic control of NEOMED’s records throughout their life cycle to ensure efficiency and economy in their creation, utilization, maintenance, retention, preservation, and disposition. NEOMED has established a Records Management Program that formalizes several previously informal records management efforts in accordance with our Records Retention Schedule.
But wait, what is a Record? In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, a record refers to any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including electronic records, that is created, received by, or comes under the purview of NEOMED, which serves to document the organization, its functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the University.
What’s the Records Retention Schedule? The Records Retention Schedule is a tool that was created for use in managing a record’s life cycle and to evaluate when to retain, destroy or archive institutional records. We are finalizing updates to our current Records Retention Schedule, so we will keep you updated once the updated version is ready and available.
Why have a Records Management Program? In addition to demonstrating regulatory and legal compliance, our Records Management Program will increase our operational efficiencies with reduced time being spent on recreating and finding information. Our Records Management Program also preserves NEOMED’s historical and significant decisions for future use, protects records from improper or unauthorized disposal, and ensures that records are not retained unnecessarily.
Who is responsible for Records Management? We all use or receive records in our day-to-day efforts, and as such, we all have a responsibility to manage records in an efficient and economical manner. This includes retaining records until the minimum retention period has been reached (as noted within the Records Retention Schedule) and appropriately disposing of records, whether it be through destruction or archival.
Where and how does Records Management affect me? As mentioned above, we all use or receive records in our day-to-day efforts, so we are all responsible for managing records in accordance with the Records Management Policy and our Records Retention Schedule. When you have a need to dispose of records, whether it be through archival or destruction, there are procedures and associated certificates that need to be completed. We are offering classroom training sessions on records management and the procedures involved in disposition Sept. 10, 17 and 24. To register and for more information on the training sessions, please see the brief registration form.
When do Records Management efforts occur and when is the Records Retention Schedule updated? In short, efforts occur daily. Records are created throughout the year; therefore, a record’s minimum retention period and associated disposal may differ than that of another. Additionally, transitory records and non-records make up much of the information we use, receive, and subsequently dispose of each day, such as “junk” mail/email. The Records Retention Schedule will be evaluated and adjusted as needed, based upon any material changes to the University’s operations that yield new records to be managed or other circumstances that may have a material impact on the Records Management Program.
Again, I encourage you to review our updated Records policies when you have time and please stay tuned for another update regarding our refreshed Records Retention Schedule and some other related efforts. If you have any questions about these changes, please don’t hesitate to ask – you can email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your time reading!