There’s always room for low-tech in a high-tech world

In search of PBH minutes Day 58

While it might concern some that the model agency for delivery of our state’s mental health services doesn’t have ready access to all of its records, I’m not among them, even with my scant knowledge of the complexities of document management.

“Some of the older files were stored offsite, so it took me sometime to access them myself,” PBH Communications Manager Cyndy Brooks wrote in an email last Friday regarding North Carolina Mental Hope’s request for minutes of board meetings since January 2003. This Monday, Brooks called, and when asked the number of minutes stored offsite said she would need to look into it and get back to me. Apparently it’s taking some time to access those older files once again.

Those of a more suspicious nature might think this is agency stonewalling and might even question why any records from 2003 and later would be preserved as paper only. (At least that’s the assumption since Brooks noted the need to scan some of the files.) But think back to 2003, aka the Dark Ages of Computing when Windows XP ruled the land, the iPod was just in its third generation, and Smartphones just weren’t as smart as they are today.

And, of course, there are the substantial issues of storage capacity that I’m sure made it prudent to print paper copies of some minutes and delete the electronic files. For example, the eight years of board minutes from Crossroads Behavioral Healthcare consumed an onerous 3.1 mb of space.

Finally, there’s the matter of just where “offsite” is, certainly a consideration in the amount of time needed to access and re-access the records. Offsite storage could mean the minutes are stored in dusty filing cabinets in a warehouse down the street or deep inside a mountain like the Mormon’s nuclear bomb proofed storage facility for its genealogical records.

I, for one, am all in favor of reducing our nation’s reliance on high tech and in that spirit hope the powers that be at PBH don’t mind my taking a page from the classics in offering a possible aid to help keep track of important documents.  The classic is, of course, Hansel & Gretel, and the aid, breadcrumbs.




f not stalling, take a page out of Hans and Gretel and leave bred crumbs



  1. Diane Weaver says:

    I love it! Just the right amount of suspended disbelief.

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