casefiles05 - Managing Case Files Effectively NYALGRO...

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Unformatted text preview: Managing Case Files Effectively NYALGRO Training School 2005 Lake Placid New York State Archives www.archives.nysed.gov Types of Case Files s Files on Individuals Personnel Files Social Services Cases Student Files Inmate Files Medical Files s Project Files Capital Project Files Building Permit Files Investigation Files Legal Case Files Planning Case Files Characteristics of Case Files s s s s Information about one "case" Contain various types of information Records from many sources Usually filed together Case Files Structures s s s Simple Segmented Virtual Advantages of Case Files s Quicker Access Single Series to Maintain Diverse Materials Filed Together s s Issues with Case Files s s s s s s Managing through Life Cycle Access and Retrieval Confidentiality Physical Management Retention and Disposition Appraisal Managing Case Files through the Life Cycle s s s s Creation Active Use Inactive Storage Disposition Access and Retrieval Problems s s s s Imperfect filing systems Misfiles Files that are not returned Weak system of refiling Access and Retrieval Solutions s s s s Conversion to better filing systems File plan Database tracking Barcoding Converting Case Files s To other media To other physical filing systems To other intellectual filing systems s s Case Study # 1 Intellectual System Conversion Design and Construction Files Case Study # 2 Media Conversion Building Permit Files in Municipalities Case Study # 3 Physical System Conversion Services Social Client Case Files Reasons for Developing File Manuals s s s s s s s Systematically control records Improve access Reduce misfiles Reduce bulk Define responsibilities Train personnel Testify in court What to Include in File Manuals (part 1) s s s s s Responsibilities Steps in establishing a file What records included in file File order of records Updating files What to Include in File Manuals (part 2) s s s s s Retention periods for various records Purging rules Access restrictions Records storage Disposition Database Tracking s Greater control of files Multiple access points Track filing changes for inactive files s s Possible Data Fields for Case Files Database s s s s s s s Case title (person's name, project title) Case number Dates case opened/closed Case manager Location Date of disposition File status Barcoding s s s s Simple way to track files Used in large systems Use when have many users Especially useful for active files Confidentiality Problems s Only portions of file are public Must know specific privacy laws Must protect individuals' privacy s s Confidentiality Solutions s Analyze confidentiality ahead of time Maintain list of confidential records Maintain procedures for confidentiality s s Physical Management Problems s Files take up enormous space Difficult to add files to middle Difficult to keep up with filing s s Physical Management Solutions s s s s s s Change storage system Weed files on schedule Discard duplicate records Change storage media Use numeric filing system Retire inactive files on a regular basis Retention and Disposition Problems s Multiple retention periods within files Requires multiple dispositions Files become inactive at various times s s Retention and Disposition Solutions s Segment files by retention Weed records from files Pull files as they become inactive Box inactive records by retention s s s Case Study # 4 Retention and Disposition Student Records in School Districts Appraisal for Archival Value Problems s s s s Too voluminous to save all files Large files, so hard to use effectively Expensive to keep all files Need to save a useful set of records Appraisal for Archival Value Solutions s Culling from each file Careful appraisal Sampling State Archives' help s s s Sampling Methods s Fatfile s Set criteria to i.d. files s Choose portions of the file s Random Case Study # 5 Appraisal Legal Case and Investigation Files in the Department of Law for Identifying Archival Case Files s Department of Law's Criteria Files pertain to such cases: Landmark decisions Notorious figures or organizations Prominent individuals Define a shift in policy Schedule for Appraising Case Files s Department of Law's Records to records center for 6 yrs Attorneys i.d. possible permanent files Chosen files saved for another 10 years At end of 10 years, final determination s s s Media Formats for Case Files s s s s s Paper Microfilm Imaged records Electronic files Hybrid systems Media Formats: Paper s s s s s s Most common Familiar to people Takes up most space Used during any part of life cycle Requires strict physical security Preservation is usually simpler Media Formats: Microfilm s s s s s Usually used for inactive files Can combine various sizes of records Access improved with database (CAR) Provides file integrity and security Easy to preserve Media Formats: Imaging and Its Advantages s s s s s For frequent and rapid retrieval For complex retrievals For access by multiple users For remote access Allows for segmented files Media Formats: Imaging and Its Drawbacks s s s s s Not for records storage problems Not a preservation medium Must plan for migration Requires strict controls Not a panacea Media Formats: Electronic Files s s s s s Underutilized solution Information in complex database Avoids extra step of imaging Easy conversion to nonproprietary format But not a solution for every situation Media Formats: Hybrid Systems s Different media for different purposes Different media to avoid conversions Builtin redundancy s s Conclusions s Evaluate your case file problems s Consider your possible solutions s Develop solution to a specific situation s Go to State Archives for help ...
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