In this new series, Digital Health Age will pick a hospital every month to highlight the advancements and implementations of digital technology within healthcare institutions.
This month’s pick goes towards an institution that has recognised the need for a paperless environment in healthcare.
The Royal Liverpool underwent a digitisation project to help facilitate its medical records. The trust manages around 750,000 patients every year making it one of the most complex health systems outside of London.
The Royal Liverpool was nominated as one the UK’s 12 global digital exemplar trusts to help deliver world-class digital services and to lead the way for other organisations within the NHS.
With the Royal Liverpool moving to a new hospital designed around a paperless environment, a system was required that would help manage patients’ medical records.
The trust is now working with Restore Scan, a document solutions company that has years of experience in medical scanning.
A five-year agreement started in 2016 and resulted in Restore Scan documenting over 10 million images.
The move to a fully paperless environment is important if NHS trusts are to work as efficiently and economically as possible.
Aidan Kehoe, CEO at The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS trust, explains: “We currently have to manage over 1,000 requests for medical records per day and ensure that the correct files are available for clinicians when patients arrive for appointments. Physically moving, managing and storing such a huge amount of paper documents and files is a time consuming and costly process for the trust, and also a potentially insecure one. There is always the chance of patient notes being lost or misplaced and therefore people having to wait longer than we would like, before clinicians are able to see them.”
The contract with Restore Scan will allow the trust to have its records imported into its Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) ready for its move to a new hospital in 2018.
Kehoe explains that the objectives of the agreement were to “create efficiencies in document management whilst saving space on document storage and allowing more time for us to focus on and boost front line patient care.”
The digitisation project, whilst still ongoing, has resulted in instant records access enabling clinicians to spend more time with patients. Patient record administration time has also been reduced and the digitised format means a reduction in the space needed for record storage.
Kehoe concluded: “Our digitisation programme is as much about people as it is technology. It is an ideal opportunity to improve patient care, both in the short and long term. If we capitalise on the real benefits digital technologies bring, then we should see transformational change for patients, doctors, nurses, social workers and the people of Merseyside.”