Hospital chiefs make paper-less move

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Health bosses in St Helens became the first in the country to stop using paper medical records and have taken another step towards a paper-less future.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has upgraded to the latest version an electronic document management system.

Utilising a completely re-architected version of CCube Solutions’ software, version 4 will introduce support for mobile and tablet devices, introduce additional workflow, OCR and eForms capabilities, and enable closer integration with the Trust’s other IT systems including a brand-new PAS.

In 2010, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust pioneered the use of a scan-on-demand approach to digitising medical records and serving them electronically to clinical staff in what was then a landmark and award-winning initiative well ahead of its time.

Using a customised version of CCube Solutions’ EDMS software and a bespoke portal – created for the first time in the NHS further to close collaboration with clinicians and other key stakeholders – the Trust migrated away from a labour intensive and unsustainable paper process which involved moving 7,000 records each week between its two hospital sites – St Helens and Whiston.

Around 130,000 medical records were digitised – some 41 million pages – which has saved the Trust £1.4m annually further to an initial £1.2m investment.

The digital system implemented mirrored the old paper medical file and displays information such as patient name, appointment time, last doctor’s letter, and has a range of links – so-called chapters - so that clinicians can quickly and easily delve into a patient’s medical history. Over 500 doctors and 130 medical secretaries were trained with the implementation gradually rolled out over 22 months.

Karl McIntyre, St Helens and Knowsley Health Informatics Services’ Assistant Director for Innovation, said: “We set the agenda for other NHS organisations to follow.

“Many trusts have visited St Helens and Knowsley to see how we solved our paper problems. We’ve practically become the digital blueprint for modern medical records delivery.”

New version of CCube Solutions’ EDMS allows the Trust to build on its success.

Now completely deployed and live, the introduction of version 4 of CCube Solutions’ EDMS will allow the Trust to capitalize on the work and success made to date to digitally transform.