Setting the NHS free from paper-based systems is essential for improving healthcare. Earlier this year, Secretary of State, The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, announced that the NHS should be paperless by 2018; St Helens and Knowsley Health Informatics Service (StHK HIS) was on the journey to making this happen well before the announcement was made.
StHK HIS realised long ago that manually delivering more than 1,200 paper patient records across the Trust's three main sites everyday was not an efficient use of time, nor was it the quickest and safest way to get healthcare professionals the information they needed to diagnose and treat their patients.
For example, a doctor working in an outpatient clinic has immediate access to a patient's record, while doctors working in Accident & Emergency Department can access the full electronic records of a patient immediately on arrival.
- Improved patient safety
Improve patient experience
More users using IT to directly support care requiring greater mobility/flexibility in IT access
Access to clinical records available throughout the health economy
Accessing greater volumes of information faster
Less duplication and less instances of misinterpretation or errors due to illegible writing.
Delivery of electronic health records to the point of care in every setting, to every patient, every time.
Concurrent access of a record
Highly available, high quality records
Reduction in estate requirements for health records
Electronic health records have vastly improved availability of information so that more than one person can access a record at one time. In addition information is found much more quickly at the click of a button rather than searched for in the medical records department.
But the trust has not only digitised its records, all tests are now done electronically. This means that duplication of tests (which can be uncomfortable for a patient) is reduced as requests and results are available in real-time and alerts are raised when there are any outstanding issues. In addition, patient safety is being further improved by the use of a bed management system, ensuring the patient is in the right place at the right time, receiving the correct treatment. to visit our Innovation Zone for information on our drive to eliminate paper processes.
The digitisation of patient information and workflow processes has also meant closer integration with the Trust's surrounding GP surgeries, discharge summaries are now sent electronically within 24 hours in line with government initiatives. Going paperless required an initial investment of £1.2m but is expected to save more than £3.2m over five years. Closing the paper records library after 2014 will save a recurring £1.4m per year.
Working in partnership withthe Trust rolled out EDMS across the two hospitals in 2010.
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