Digital record-keeping

By Dispex

Following numerous enquiries regarding moving to digital record-keeping and and determining the
appropriate retention period, we’ve decided to compile this resource to address any apprehension.

As far as Dispex is concerned digital records, as long as they are kept safe and secure, could be used
instead of
paper records.

  • Fridge temperature records
    There are no regulatory timescales, but it is recommended that fridge records should be retained
    for at least one year and be available for audit.
  • Room temperature records
    Yet again there are no regulatory timescales, but it’s best practice to keep them for 1 year.

Further Resource: Dispex SOPs – DPX-D3 Refrigerator Monitoring, DPX-QC1 Ordering & Storage
of Medication and
DPX-D2 Room Temperature Monitoring

  • Delivery of medications to patients
    These should be kept for 1 year.
  • Submission documents
    There may be financial reasons to keep for a period of time, should there be a query on
    payments received. Financial documentation are normally kept for 7 years.
  • DSQS staff competency assessments forms
    It is advised to just keep the previous year’s submission and relevant paperwork for reference. In terms of
    destroying staff records, whether for DSQS or not, this would be a HR question as there are wider
    implications on this.

Further Resource: Dispex SOPs QC14 DSQS

  • Paper DRUM forms
    Paper DRUMs can be scanned into your clinical notes. Once the DSQS payment has been made you can
    then discard the paper copies, there are no regulatory timescales. For further guidance on DRUMs, check
    out our online learner-led course here.

  • Prescription form movement records
    These should be kept for 3 years.
  • NHS prescriptions
    must be kept for 2 years. NHS paper scripts are scanned by NHSBSA and kept on their servers.
    The record of what has been prescribed is also on the GP clinical system.
    ELECTRONIC must be kept for 2 years.
  • Private prescription
    must be kept for 10 years.
    ELECTRONIC must be kept for 2 years, unless there’s a
    VAT charge on a private script, then its 6 years.


Further Resource:

The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 state that a prescription may be kept electronically, and must be
kept for a period of 2 years – whether it is private or NHS.

As VAT is charged on private prescriptions, the VAT regulations come into play – You must keep VAT
records of all supplies and purchases for at least 6 years from the date of supply or purchase – the record,
again can be kept electronically. There is a slight variation for
Private CD prescriptions – the original needs
to be sent to NHSBSA every month, but a copy will need to be kept for 6 years for VAT purposes.

In conclusion, if these records are kept digitally, then they could effectively be kept forever. Digital copies of
the paper records would ensure there is an esay way of recovering data as all of it will be date stamped.