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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Differences and similarities of the elite and incremental policy theory models


It is very necessary that librarians, records managers, archivists and other information science professionals be well versed in information policy analysis, design, implementation and evaluation in order for them to contribute effectively in the information policy processes. In this paper the author is going to compare and contrast between the Incremental and the Elite theory models of Information policy.

The author is going to define the terms policy model, incremental and elite theory models. Haynes and Mickelson [1997:58] say “a model is a representative of some aspect of real world designed to yield insight into or to focus attention on a specific segment of t.” The incremental theory of policy model is defined by www.answers .com as follows: ‘Incremental policy making looks at existing programs or policies and uses these as a foundation to implement change.” Mutongi [2012:52] simply defines the incremental policy model as largely a continuation of past policies marked only by incremental changes. On the other hand the elite policy model is defined [ibid] as a theory which “views public policy as largely determined by the preferences and governing elites.” The California State University Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration online document says “A policy-making elite in an environment characterized by apathy and information distortions and governs a largely passive mass. Policy flows downward from the elites to the mass.”
There are a number of similarities between the incremental and the elite policy models. The first is that both theories do not favor fast, quick or revolutionary changes. The elite theory believes that “There must be slow and continuous movement of the non-elites into elite positions, but after only after they accepted elite values; in order to maintain stability and avoid a revolution…changes in public policy will be incremental rather than revolutionary…” The same applies to the incremental policy model; it says policies tend to be only marginally different from those that have gone before, no radical changes.” Radical changes are viewed as revolutionary and not compatible with both incremental and elite theory models.
The second similarity between the incremental and elite theory model is that both theories are conservative theories. These theories try to maintain the “Status quo” preserving the current state of affairs. The elite theory model’s aim is to preserve the current state of affairs. The elite theory model’s aim is to preserve the basic values of the social system [Dye 1981].The same applies to the incremental theory model which seeks to preserve old policies and that that if there is any need for a change, those changes must be based upon what is already there and that those changes must be only minimum or small not big jumps.
The third similarity observed by the author of this paper is that the incremental and elite theory model seems to be elite driven rather than mass driven. The elite theory assumes that the masses are passive; they do not know what they want and so are not consulted when crafting policies. As long as long as the wishes of the masses are against the elites their votes or voices will be vetoed by the elites. The elites are powerful and the masses are powerless ill-informed and poor.
It is also obvious that incremental policy makers are the elites, that is, the educated, rich or persons of political power. If the masses demand something which may be viewed as a big “jump” or a 100% deviation from the old policies, the move would be viewed as a revolution, and the masses’ voices would be drowned by the elites’ adherence to the old policies. So both the incremental and elite theory models are elitist theories.

The two theories, the incremental and elite public policies are directed from the top downwards. Policy – makers influence masses rather than masses influencing the masses. Public policy is elite driven rather than people driven Dye (1981) says the elite are subject to little direct influence from the apathetic masses. The elite influence the masses than vice –versa.

Although the author had show the similarities between the incremental and the elite theory differences do exist between the two. The first is that the incremental policy changes are influenced by people within the institutions. For example, agricultural policies can be changed by people within the ministry of Agriculture, ministry official who had access to old agricultural policies. There is a need to have persons in institutional positions to make the necessary incremental changes. However, it is not so with the elite theory. The elites may not be attached to the institutions, but they can influence who can be appointed as top leaders of those institutions. They are able influence policies which can be crafted by institutions. The elites are sometime called ‘kingmakers’.
The second difference is that the incremental theory model bases any policy changes on old policies already in operation. No new stand alone policies are accepted. On the other hand the elite theory is only there to protect basic social system and preservation of values such as private property, limited government and individual liberty. So a policy which is not based on any previous policy may be implemented , as long as that policy seeks to protect the interests of the elites.
The third difference is according to the en.wikipedia.org/wiki/incrementalism, incrementalism is a planning methodology normally found where a large strategic plan is either unnecessary or has failed to develop, and for that reason it is called “muddling through”. The incremental theory model is not rigid because numerous changes can be effected sometimes without sufficient justification for those incremental changes. The incremental theory operates where there is no strategic plan and usually the increment can be a result of react measures rather than being proactive. On the other hand the elite theory model is based upon strategic plans of the elites which are there to protect the elites’ interests. The elite theory is not able to make reactive measures since it is rigid and bound by strategic plans which are meant to protect the elite’s interests.
The author had shown that the two policy theory models, that is, the incremental and elite are similar in that they are conservative theories and that both are elite driven policy theories, that the policies are not mass driven but they are enforced from the top to the masses. The differences are that the elite theory model is based upon an organizational strategic plans while the incremental policy model operate where there is no strategic but rather it is reactive than proactive in nature

Bibliography
California State University Graduate Center for Public Policy and Administration,2002,Woman and Public Policy-Models of Public Policymaking,CSU Graduate Center for Public Policy,USA
www.answers.com/q/what-is-incremental-policymaking
Caramani D,2008 Comparative Politics, Oxford University Press, Uk
Dye & Zeigler, 1981, The Irony of Democracy, Cole Books, CA,USA
Lester & Stewart J, 2000, Public Policy: An Evolutionary Approach, Belmont, CA
En.wikipedia.org/wiki/increamentalism

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology(NUST) he holds a  Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management from the Zimbabwe Open University.You can contact him on 0773614293 or etiwelm02@gmail.com

MANAGING HR,SCHOOL RECORDS,REGISTRY & LIBRARY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
DATES :19-22 OCTOBER [Check in SUN 6PM and Check out Tues. 8AM]
VANUE –SHUMBA HOTEL-KWEKWE

WORKSHOP FEES –US$150-00/PERSON [workshop fees EXCLUDES supper and accommodation].A FREE T-SHIRT WILL BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE TO MAKE THEIR PAYMENTS BY THE 10TH OF OCTOBER 2014


ALL OF OUR WORKSHOPS ARE 100% SATISFACTORY GUARANTEED!!
We are confident this seminar will help you;
Know how to handle and manage Human Resources Records
Classify and Code Current Records.
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FACILITATORS: MR.T.DUBE-LECTURER AT BULAWAYO

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This program was designed to benefit personnel from colleges and polytechnics, hospitals ,government departments, schools, local authorities and municipalities and other institutions employed in Human Resources, Libraries, and Records & Archives Management positions which includes Human Resources Managers, HR Officers, HR Assistants, HR Clerks, HR Secretaries, Personal Assistants, data capture clerks, secretaries, Librarians, Teacher Librarians, Student Librarians, Records Managers, Records/Registry Supervisors, Records & Information Assistants, Records/Registry Clerks etc

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Legal and Professional Obligations which Promotes or Hinder the Disclosure of Patient Health Information.


In many countries it has been the general rule that patient health records must be disclosed under valid laid down rules such as the health professional codes of standards and ethics. In this paper , the author is going to discuss legal and professional obligations which promotes or hinder the disclosure of patient health information.

Before proceeding to the contents of the paper the author will first define health records or health information. According to the Wikipedia, “The terms medical record, health record, and medical chart are used interchangeable to describe the systematic documentation of a single patient’s medical history and care …” The free online dictionary defines medical record as “A Chronological written account of a patient’s examination and treatment that includes the patient’s examination and treatment that includes the patient’s medical history and complaints, the physician’s physical findings, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures, and medications and therapeutic procedures” On the hand health information refers to any health related record, paper, electronic or whatever form used to document diagnosis or any health related patient information.

In Zimbabwe we have different pieces of laws which set the legal and professional obligations which limit , prohibit or set conditions in respect of the management, use and disclosure of health information. Laws such as the Access to information Act, do not address health records in particular but refers to all public records hence health records are included. The National Archives Act sets the period under which public records can be accessed by the public. The disclosure period includes also health records. The Copyright and Neighboring Rights Act is another Zimbabwean law which can limit the disclosure of health information. Patient case files are considered a copyright of the patient and the health practitioner attending a patient. Patient files therefore can not be accessed by researchers without the consent of the patient and the health practitioner who wrote the case notes. The Copyright Act protects or restricts the publication of any copyrighted material in whatever form. If anyone discloses what is in the patient’ case file without the consent of the patient and the doctor attending the patient, that parson will liable to litigation for copyright infringement.

Health professional’s organizations had their codes of standards in Zimbabwe. Those codes of standards had something to do with patient privacy and confidentiality of the patient’s records. The consumer council of Zimbabwe’s online found patient charter clearly emphasizes that “save for the requirements of the law, all information concerning a patient’s illness or personal circumstances will be kept in confidence and used only for purposes of their treatment”. The Consumer Council patient charter goes on to say, “A patient has the right to privacy during consultation, examination and treatment.”Although the Consumer Council Patient Charter is not yet law, it is being respected by Health professions as general ethics rules which can hinder the disclosure of health information.

In South Africa they had the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act, No 181 of 1993.This Act on section 36 clearly says “No person shall disclose any information concerning the affairs[health] of any other person obtained by him in carrying out his functions in terms of this act” The act goes on to explain the circumstances under which health information can be disclosed. It says information can be disclosed only in to the extent to which it may be necessary for the proper administration of a provision of the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act ,for the purpose of all administration of all justice, or at the request of a health and safety representative or a health and safety committee entitled thereto.

In the UK according to the DH/Digital Information Policy[2007] there is a number of legislation which controls the disclosure not only of health records but other records to members of the public.The administration law, The Common Law Duty of Confidentiality, The abortion Regulation 1991,The Access to Health Records Act 1990 and The Access to Medical Report Act 1988.

The administration law says staff must be trained in the legal framework covering the disclosure of confidential patient information. They should also be provided with procedures for obtaining explicit consent and guidance on where to seek advice if they are unsure when they should disclose information[ibid] The general position under the common law duty of confidentiality is that,if information is given in circumstances where it is expected that a duty of confidence applies, that information cannot normally be disclosed without the data subject’s consent[ibid].
Under the common law duty of confidentiality all patient information, whether held on paper, computer, visually or audio recorded, or held in the memory of the professional, must not normally be disclosed without the consent of the patient. However, the common law duty of confidentiality says there are certain circumstances where a court orders the release of patient health information, the hospital must try by all means to reverse such orders wherever possible to prevent litigations by patients.

The Uk Access to Medical Report Act 1988’s aim is to allow individuals to allow individuals to see medical reports written about them, for employment or insurance purposes, by a doctor patient capacity. This right can be exercised either before or after the report is sent.

In America, they had what they call the Privacy Rule.The Privacy Rule protects all “Individually identifiable health information” held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper, or oral http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary. Under the protected Health Information anything which relates to the individual’s past, present or future physical or mental health or condition, the provision of health care to the individual and that identifies the individual or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be used to identify the individual is not allowed to be disclosed to anyone without the consent of that person.

However, the US Privacy Rule had a lot of weakness or loopholes on the issue of disclosure of the health information. It says a covered entity is permitted, but not required, to use and disclose protected health information, without the consent or authorization of the patient for the following persons: to the individual patient, health care operations, permitted use and disclosure, public interest, limited data set for the purpose of research, public health or health care operations. Although the American Privacy Rule goes a mile in protecting the disclosure of health information the above weakness can be used by health practitioners in disclosing patient health information without their approval.

The author of this paper had pointed out that professional standards and certain laws really control the disclosure of health information. Most of the cited pieces of legislation protects the disclosure of patient records without their consent. The author had also cited certain pieces of legislation which are weak and which can be exploited and interpreted wrongly in order evade seeking the patient’s consent before disclosing health records.

Bibliography
http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary

DH/Digital Information Policy,2007,NHS Information Governance-Guidance on Legal and Professional Obligations,Department of Health,United Kingdom

Consumer Council Of Zimbabwe,2006,Patient Charter,Hrare Zimbabwe

RSA,1993,Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act,No 181 of 1993 RSA,

Chiwanza and Tsvuura,2011,"Management of Hospital Records and Health Information Systems,ZOU,Harare,Zimbabwe


Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology(NUST) he holds a  Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management from the Zimbabwe Open University.You can contact him on 0773614293 or etiwelm02@gmail.com

MANAGING HR,SCHOOL RECORDS,REGISTRY & LIBRARY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
DATES :19-22 OCTOBER [Check in SUN 6PM and Check out Tues. 8AM]
VANUE –SHUMBA HOTEL-KWEKWE

WORKSHOP FEES –US$150-00/PERSON [workshop fees EXCLUDES supper and accommodation].A FREE T-SHIRT WILL BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE TO MAKE THEIR PAYMENTS BY THE 10TH OF OCTOBER 2014


ALL OF OUR WORKSHOPS ARE 100% SATISFACTORY GUARANTEED!!
We are confident this seminar will help you;
Know how to handle and manage Human Resources Records
Classify and Code Current Records.
Know how to manage school records
Know how to manage your library collections.
Know How to Write your annual library report
Know How to Budget for your Library

FACILITATORS: MR.T.DUBE-LECTURER AT BULAWAYO

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This program was designed to benefit personnel from colleges and polytechnics, hospitals ,government departments, schools, local authorities and municipalities and other institutions employed in Human Resources, Libraries, and Records & Archives Management positions which includes Human Resources Managers, HR Officers, HR Assistants, HR Clerks, HR Secretaries, Personal Assistants, data capture clerks, secretaries, Librarians, Teacher Librarians, Student Librarians, Records Managers, Records/Registry Supervisors, Records & Information Assistants, Records/Registry Clerks etc

DON’T WASTE TIME REGISTER TODAY

Deposit or transfer your money into the following account 11543973302011 BANK ABC BULAWAYO .FOR FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION CONTACT THE WORKSHOP ORGANISER: ETIWEL MUTERO +263773614293 etiwelm02@gmail.com
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Friday, April 12, 2013

FIVE ETHICAL GUIDELINES A RESEARCHER SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN CONDUCTING A RESEARCH



It is true that every development initiative depends upon research and that researches are now popular in the academic courses. Original research means that you will end up by making a contribution to knowledge that you will end up by making a contribution to knowledge that is novel and unique, and that creates a step forward in that particular branch of learning. In this paper, the author is going to examine any five ethical guidelines a researcher should consider when conducting research.

DEFINATION OF TERMS
The author will start by defining the following two terms: ethics and research. Chikutsa A & Chingozha M.P.I[2011:118] defines ethics as “the rightness or wrongness of an activity or act.” The author defines ethics as fair methods or techniques which can be applied or used in any activity or transaction .Research is defined by the Oxford Encyclopedic English Dictionary as [a] the systematic investigation into the study of materials, sources etc. in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions [b]an endeavor to discover new or collate old facts etc. by the scientific study of a subject or by a course of critical investigation ‘Leedy [1989:5] says “Research is a procedure by which we attempt to find systematically, and with the support of demonstrable fact, the answer to a question or the resolution of a problem” Dominowski[1980:2] defines research as “a fact finding activity.”

The first ethical consideration to be made when conducting a research is that of seeking consent before collecting information. According to Kumar R,[2005:212] a researcher must be able to justify the relevance and usefulness of the research which is about to be undertaken. “If you cannot justify the relevance of the research you are conducting, you are wasting your respondent’s time which is unethical” If the respondent is satisfied he/she will be in a position to consent to release information.

In addition to the above it is considered unethical to collect information without the knowledge of the participants, and their expressed willingness and informed consent. Williman N[2005:346] says there maybe several layers of consent required. For example, if participants to be interviewed works for a particular organization, then the top management of that organization, then the top management of that organization must be consulted and their consent obtained. The individual employees also must consent to be interviewed.Williman goes on to say clarity, brevity and frankness are key attributes in providing information on which consent is based. The form of consent must also be considered, whether verbal consent only is sufficient or written consent may also be required. Williman [2005] says when dealing with organizations written consent is always required. He goes on to say getting information from vulnerable people such as children, the old, the handicapped etcetera require particular attention. The consent of those in charge of them is required.Chikutsa & Chingozha [2011:120] have got the following words to say informed consent “before the researcher can proceed with the research hahas to advise the subjects of any risks and consequences of the study. The respondents should thus provide their consent to participate in the research, based on what they know about the risks, benefits or consequences of participating in that research.”

The second ethical consideration in research is confidentiality. Kumar [2005] say the confidentiality of interview participants must be protected. He says “make sure that at least the information provided by respondents is kept anonymous” and that it is unethical to identify an individual respondent. The words of Kumar R. are echoed by Deborah S [2003] as she said ‘For example, it’s inappropriate to obtain contact information of members of a support group to solicit their participation in research’ Failure by the researcher to observe the above confidentiality rules are unethical. Chikutsa & Chingozha [2011:119] says information secured from the respondents should be used for the researcher purpose only. It should not be availed to other persons or institutions for whatever reasons without their consent. The researcher ought to ensure that the identity of participant is not traceable. “All information obtained from study should be treated in confidence and at no time should it be used against the subjects or for other hidden agendas. This is important as it ensures that the information so obtained is not used to discredit the reputation of the subjects who will have honestly participated in the first place” [ibid].

The third ethical consideration when carrying out a research is that of ensuring that participants are protected from harm. Bailey [1978:384] as quoted in Kumar [2005] says “Harm includes ‘not only hazardous medical experiments but also any social research that might involve such things as discomfort, anxiety, harassment, invasion of privacy, or demeaning or dehumanizing procedures.’ That means the subjects of the research should be protected from any possible psychological, physical or any other harm.

The fourth ethical consideration when conducting a research is the avoidance of deception. Walliman N [2005:350] says an ethically sound approach to research is based on the principle of honesty. Researchers must be truthful and inform the subject of their true intentions in carrying out the research. Deception is to be avoided. A paper titled “Ethics in Medicine” says “As a general rule, deception is not acceptable when doing research with humans. Using deception jeopardizes the integrity of the informed consent process and can potentially harm your participants.” So deception is unethical in research.

The fifth ethical consideration when conducting a research is the privacy of participants. Chikutsa & Chingozha [2011:121] argues that the privacy of the respondents should that the privacy of the respondents should be guaranteed .Privacy may be protected through seeking proper authority from management if conducting a research at an organization. The researcher must be aware that people had a right to privacy which must not be abused or infringed by a researcher. “It is grossly unethical therefore for any researcher to force or bulldoze his/her way into the private life of the research participants.

CONCLUSION
The author had attempted to discuss five ethical considerations considered when carrying out a research namely; consent of participants when collecting information, confidentiality of the subjects, protecting participants from physical psychological economic or any other harm, the avoidance of deception and the adherence to truthfulness and lastly protecting the subjects’ privacy. Violating any of the above ethical principles is unethical.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
WALLIMAN N,2005,Your Research Project 2nd Edition,Sage Books,Los Angels,USA
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON School of Medicine,-,Ethics in Medicine,found online www.washington.edu/biothx/topics/resrch/htm
Wikipedia,Research Ethics-      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/research-ethics
Deborah S,2003,Five Principles for research ethics Vol 34 No1,American Psychological Association,USA
KUMAR R,2005,Research Methodology,A step-by-step Guide for Beginners 2nd ed,Sage Publications,London,Uk
Chikutsa A & Chingozha M.P.I,2011,Research Methods,ZOU,HARARE,ZIMBABWE

Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology(NUST) he holds a  Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management from the Zimbabwe Open University.You can contact him on 0773614293 or etiwelm02@gmail.com
MANAGING HR,SCHOOL RECORDS,REGISTRY & LIBRARY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
DATES :19-22 OCTOBER [Check in SUN 6PM and Check out Tues. 8AM]
VANUE –SHUMBA HOTEL-KWEKWE

WORKSHOP FEES –US$150-00/PERSON [workshop fees EXCLUDES supper and accommodation].A FREE T-SHIRT WILL BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE TO MAKE THEIR PAYMENTS BY THE 10TH OF OCTOBER 2014


ALL OF OUR WORKSHOPS ARE 100% SATISFACTORY GUARANTEED!!
We are confident this seminar will help you;
Know how to handle and manage Human Resources Records
Classify and Code Current Records.
Know how to manage school records
Know how to manage your library collections.
Know How to Write your annual library report
Know How to Budget for your Library

FACILITATORS: MR.T.DUBE-LECTURER AT BULAWAYO

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This program was designed to benefit personnel from colleges and polytechnics, hospitals ,government departments, schools, local authorities and municipalities and other institutions employed in Human Resources, Libraries, and Records & Archives Management positions which includes Human Resources Managers, HR Officers, HR Assistants, HR Clerks, HR Secretaries, Personal Assistants, data capture clerks, secretaries, Librarians, Teacher Librarians, Student Librarians, Records Managers, Records/Registry Supervisors, Records & Information Assistants, Records/Registry Clerks etc

DON’T WASTE TIME REGISTER TODAY

Deposit or transfer your money into the following account 11543973302011 BANK ABC BULAWAYO .FOR FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION CONTACT THE WORKSHOP ORGANISER: ETIWEL MUTERO +263773614293 etiwelm02@gmail.com
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

CHALLENGES FACED BY AFRICAN ARCHIVISTS IN DIGITIZING INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE



Information professionals are now embracing digitization techniques in the management of information. Digital libraries and digital archives are becoming popular nowadays because of their wider accessibility, preservation purposes and a host of their advantages which are related to the digitization of information. In this paper, the author is going to identify challenges faced by African archivists in digitizing indigenous knowledge.

DEFINITION OF TERMS
The author will define the words the terms indigenous knowledge and digitization first. Greaves [1996] as quoted in Chisita[2011:4] defines indigenous knowledge as  ‘…something more than matter of fact-information. Rather it is invested with a sacred quality and systematic quality, supplying the foundation on which the members of a traditional community sense their commutes, personal identity, and ancestral anchorage…’ Mugabe [ibid] defines indigenous knowledge as knowledge that is held and made use of by people who regard themselves indigenous to a particular place.’ On the other hand Lee S.D.[2001:3] defines digitization as “the conversion of an analog signal or code into a digital signal or code.’ He also said digitization means the conversion of any analog material into electronic storage, including sound and video.

There are legal challenges which can be faced by African archivists in documenting indigenous knowledge such as issues to do with intellectual property rights. Eke [2011] says information professionals need to take precautions on the issue to do with copyrights before digitizing any piece of information. Kuny is quoted as saying: “…if libraries do begin to systematically collect digital information on a large scale, the provision of effective access could be questionable. In fact, copyright could end preventing libraries from providing open access to the digital information they collect. Questions of copyright must be managed so that digital information can be created and distributed throughout “digital libraries” in a manner that is equitable for both information producers and information customers. Copyright could become an insurmountable barrier to the development of digital collections.” To avoid the copyright problems there is need for archivists to agree with copyright owners that may mean paying continuous subscriptions and royalties to authors. Since Africa is a developing continent archivists may fail to get funding to pay copyright fees and royalties hampering the digitization of indigenous knowledge.

Borgholf et al [2010] talks of challenges related to what he call the rendition system. He defines the rendition system as the hardware, system software and the presentation software. He says the hardware consists of the CPU, memory and bus connection-also some required and desired addenda like graphics card and monitor, secondary storage devices eticetera. The system software consisting of the operating system and the driver programs together constitutes a layer of programs that allow human users to concentrates on the so-called “logical” attributes of the computer and to abstract from the less relevant, physical attributes of the hardware. Preservation software consists of text editors, painting software, web browsers etcetera.

Borgholf et al [2010] says there is pressure to upgrade the rendition system quit often. The presentation programs and all other components of these systems have to be replaced regularly by new ones: all the time new and ‘better’ devices and variants are being developed. In order to use them new software components are needed. That increases the challenges of digitization of African indigenous knowledge because challenges in one component of the rendition system cause changes in the other components. Since African institutions are poorly funded they may fail to upgrade the rendition system often which may endanger the accessibility of the digitized indigenous knowledge.

African archivists may face a selection dilemma. There are a lot of documentation on indigenous knowledge needing digitization and archivists may find it difficult to choose the best document to digitize Borgholf et al [2010].Libraries and archives need precise criteria on what is to be considered valuable and, therefore, should be conserved. Because of the wealth of available materials and because of the high costs involved African archivists may face difficulty in choosing the best documents to digitize.

Exorbitant costs maybe also another challenge faced by African archivists as they digitize indigenous knowledge. Costs may range from the ICTs and expert personnel. It maybe expensive to buy computers, scanners and electricity costs needed to run the computers. As explained above copyright costs must be put into consideration. All the above are costs to put into consideration which African institution may fail to sustain.

Sigauke D.T & Nengomasha Dr [2011] said, for example, the National Archives of Zimbabwe has a depreciated staff establishment which needs further staff development and exposure to modern digitization technologies. They also said the NAZ lacks a digitization policy program which hinders the digitization of the indigenous knowledge. The above problems observed by Sigauke D.T & Nengomasha Dr[2011] may be uniform throughout all African information institutions. That is lack sufficient and skilled personnel capable of running the digitization programs.

Eke H.N.[2011] says developing countries may have limited bandwidth an important requirement for a digitization program. Poor connectivity has always affected the rate at which files are uploaded. It was noted [Eke H.N.2011] that poor connectivity has been a big challenge for accessing and downloading information especially large files and then become a challenge for African archivists in digitizing indigenous knowledge.
The other challenge faced by African archivists in digitizing indigenous knowledge is the difficulty in digitizing some materials and the strenuous work of editing of works digitized. Most academic staff supplies their biodata and scholarly publications on a CD. At times the CD_ROM drive of computers used for scanning is faulty. Some cases have occurred where the drives could not open, nor read the CDs provided. As a result, a section was created for dumping of such CDs and they were tagged ‘problematic documents’ The scanning also requires considerable editing to conform to the standard set for such materials. The information professionals involved in appending digital signatures on the scanned documents must have to edit the work by first checking the spellings, looking out for bookmarks to ensure it is properly done. The laborious work can be problematic to the digitization of African indigenous knowledge.

CONCLUSION
The author had cited the legal aspect of the digitization of the indigenous knowledge, copyright protection, costs and lack of funding by African government for digitization projects, poor policing by African information institutions, material selection challenges, poor training in digitization and under-staffing as some of the challenges faced by African archivists in the digitization of indigenous knowledge

BIBLIOGRAPHY
EKE H.N, 2011, Digitizing Resources for University of Nigeria: Process and Challenges, Webology,8[1]Article 85.Available at: http://www.webology.org/2011/v8n1/a85.html
SIGAUKE & NENGOMASHA DR,2011,Challenges and Prospects Facing the Digitization of Historical Records for their Preservation Within the National Archives of Zimbabwe ,University of Witwaterand 2nd International Conference on African Digital Libraries and Archives [ICADLA],SOUTH AFRICA
BORGHOLF U.M.et al, 2010, Long-Term Preservation of Digital Documents Principles and Practices, Springer, UK
Lee S.D, 2001, Digital Imaging A practical Handbook, Library Association, London,UK
CHISITA C.T., 2011, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, ZOU, Harare, ZIMBABWE
Lesk  .M, 2005,Understanding Digital Libraries, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, an Francisco, USA


Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology(NUST) he holds a  Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Records and Archives Management from the Zimbabwe Open University.You can contact him on 0773614293 or etiwelm02@gmail.com

                    RECORDS AND ARCHIVES MANAGEMENT SOCIETY OF ZIMBABWE

MANAGING HR,SCHOOL RECORDS,REGISTRY & LIBRARY MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
DATES :19-22 OCTOBER [Check in SUN 6PM and Check out Tues. 8AM]
VANUE –SHUMBA HOTEL-KWEKWE

WORKSHOP FEES –US$150-00/PERSON [workshop fees EXCLUDES supper and accommodation].A FREE T-SHIRT WILL BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO ARE TO MAKE THEIR PAYMENTS BY THE 10TH OF OCTOBER 2014


ALL OF OUR WORKSHOPS ARE 100% SATISFACTORY GUARANTEED!!
We are confident this seminar will help you;
Know how to handle and manage Human Resources Records
Classify and Code Current Records.
Know how to manage school records
Know how to manage your library collections.
Know How to Write your annual library report
Know How to Budget for your Library

FACILITATORS: MR.T.DUBE-LECTURER AT BULAWAYO

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This program was designed to benefit personnel from colleges and polytechnics, hospitals ,government departments, schools, local authorities and municipalities and other institutions employed in Human Resources, Libraries, and Records & Archives Management positions which includes Human Resources Managers, HR Officers, HR Assistants, HR Clerks, HR Secretaries, Personal Assistants, data capture clerks, secretaries, Librarians, Teacher Librarians, Student Librarians, Records Managers, Records/Registry Supervisors, Records & Information Assistants, Records/Registry Clerks etc

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The management of health records and health information systems is a societal effort to protect patients rights



The human rights issues started in the twentieth century getting momentum with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  It is this declaration where patient rights are anchored.  In this paper, the author is going to discuss the views that management of health records and health information systems is a societal effort to protect patients’ rights.
Definition of Terms
According to Wikipedia, “The terms medical record, health record, and medical chart are used somewhat interchangeably to describe the systematic documentation of a single patient’s medical history and care across time within one particular’s jurisdiction”.  The Free Dictionary defines medical record as “A chronological written account of a patient’s examination and treatment that includes the patient’s medical history and complaints, the physicians’ physical findings, the results of diagnostic tests and procedures, and medications and therapeutic procedures”.  On the other hand the term patient rights is defined by the American hospital Association as, “Patient rights encompass legal and ethical issues in the provider-patient relationship, including a person’s right to privacy, the right to quality medical care without prejudice, the right to make informed decisions about care and treatment options, and the right to refuse treatment.”  The consumer council of Zimbabwe defines patient rights “as social and individual rights.  Social rights cover aspects such as the quality and accessibility of health care, while individual rights relate to basic human and consumer rights.”
The Patients Charter as promulgated by the consumer council of Zimbabwe (2006) says patients had what are called “General Rights to Access and Treatment.”  Included in the above rights is the issue of confidentiality.  The confidentiality right says, save for the requirements of the law, all information concerning a patients illness or personal circumstances will be kept in confidence and used only for the purposes of their treatment.  The American Bill of Rights (2010) also says, “You have the right (patient) to talk privately with health care provides and have your health care information protected.”  The management of health records is indeed an effort by the society to safeguard patient rights.  It is the encouragement of all records management practitioners that access restrictions to patient is restricted.

Chwanza K & Tsvuura G (2011:101) says in an effort to protect the right to confidentiality “clear guidelines should be in place as to which members of hospital staff are entitled to have access to patient case notes and other potentially sensitive records”.  Chiwanza and Tsvuura go on to say senior staff of the hospital should be identified who can authorize the supply of case notes outside the hospital.  Some countries had laws which regulate the release of health records to patients-themselves and relatives.  All the above records management principles are-there to protect the rights of the patient.

The consumer council of Zimbabwe Patients Charter (2006) says the Patient had a right to consent.  “In the event that surgery is anticipated in your treatment plan, you have the right to be consulted and to be informed about the nature of the operation.  Where risks are known, you will be informed”.  Tsvuura and Chiwanza concur with the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Patient Charter when they said ‘the patient’s consent should be obtained before confidential details are released”.  Patient case notes had a dual copyright, that of the medical practitioner attending the patient and the patient.  The consent of the patient is needed before the case note is used for research or any other purposes in an effort to protect the rights of patient.

The American Hospital Association says patients had right of complaints and appeals.  Patients had right to fair, just, and objective review of any complaint you have against your health plan, doctors, hospitals, or other health care personnel.  This includes complaints about waiting times, operating hours, and the actions of health care personnel and the adequacy of health care facilities.  With the above in view, health records management encourage the management following laid down records management principles such as the life-cycle concepts.  The lifecycle records management illustrates the record lifecycle from creation through final disposition.  The cycle applies to all types of records including health records.

The life-cycle concepts ensure that records are not disposed too early to avoid unnecessary litigation by patients if they fail to get their health records from health institutions.  It ensures that records are disposed when they are due for disposal for early access to current records in the registry.  If records are kept unnecessarily for to long in the registries, the retrieval period of the needed records becomes to long due to clogging of storage equipments.

The use of computers (electronic records management) can enhance the fast accessibility of patient records shortening the number of patient’s grievances because information will be readily available.  A comprehensive electronic records management programme ensure a proper document assembly document version (or revision) control, document check in and check out services and document security consists of all the technical document tools to protect, control, and monitor document access, (FORE Library) www.ahima.org

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Patients Charter 2006 says one of the Patients Right is that of choice.  It says a patient must exercise their right to choose health workers who provide them with treatment or advice, the place and type of treatment that is provided.  After being informed of the possible options, patients have the right to refuse or halt any medical interventions.  Patients are allowed to seek a second opinion at any given time while consulting the same medical or health care delivery system.  The use of patient based case notes can assist patients to go and look for alternative medical practitioners of their choice.
CONCLUSION
The author agrees with the notion that management of health records and health information systems is a societal effort to protect patients’ rights.  The records management principles such as the life-cycle concepts, continuum concepts, provenance and respect-des -fonds and others are there to protect, the accessibility, choice, privacy, confidentiality and other patients patient rights.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, 2006, Patient Charter, found on http://www.ccz/zw/articles/details.php?article id=1
Chiwanza K & Tsvuura G, 2011, management of hospital records and health information systems, ZOU, Harare, Zimbabwe.





Etiwel Mutero works for the National University of Science and Technology,he holds a National Certificate in Records and Information Science from Kwekwe Polytechnic and he is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Science Honour Degree in Records and Archives Management through the Zimbabwe Open University.You can contact him on 0773614293 or etiwelm02@gmail.com

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WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

This program was designed to benefit personnel from colleges and polytechnics, hospitals ,government departments, schools, local authorities and municipalities and other institutions employed in Human Resources, Libraries, and Records & Archives Management positions which includes Human Resources Managers, HR Officers, HR Assistants, HR Clerks, HR Secretaries, Personal Assistants, data capture clerks, secretaries, Librarians, Teacher Librarians, Student Librarians, Records Managers, Records/Registry Supervisors, Records & Information Assistants, Records/Registry Clerks etc

DON’T WASTE TIME REGISTER TODAY

Deposit or transfer your money into the following account 11543973302011 BANK ABC BULAWAYO .FOR FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION CONTACT THE WORKSHOP ORGANISER: ETIWEL MUTERO +263773614293 etiwelm02@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/emutero