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Home » Supporting the NHS » Massive savings from the NHS transitioning to digital medical records

Neil Darvill

Director of Informatics, North Bristol NHS Trust

Vijay Magon

Managing Director, CCube Solutions

The transition from paper to digital medical records has streamlined a decades-old process and made massive financial and operational savings for a hospital trust.

The massive shift from a decades-old system requires huge numbers of paper records to be transformed into digital content that is secure, easy to use, reliable and accessible to all authorised users across the entire healthcare system.

The transition to a digital, paperless world is no longer an option and many trusts are already seeing major benefits in terms of more efficient processes and significant cost savings.

Paper records

When North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) opened a new hospital in 2014, it was designed to take advantage of the latest improvements in IT, including the use of an electronic patient record (EPR). While providing the opportunity for digital transformation, its medical records were still held in one central store leased for about £200,000 a year.

Digital solution

NBT Director of Informatics, Neil Darvill, acknowledges that the way the trust stored and accessed medical records was unsustainable. “So, we set corporate and clinical objectives to find a digital solution and ensure our staff were case note-free at the point of care,” he says.

To digitise its paper medical records and provide instant access to these documents for staff, NBT turned to CCube Solutions’ electronic document and records management (EDRM) software. CCube Managing Director, Vijay Magon, says: “EDRM in the NHS is all about transformation and presenting unstructured information contained on paper and electronic files to clinicians in a much more efficient and effective way.”

We set corporate and clinical objectives to find a digital solution and ensure our staff were case note-free at the point of care.

Digital transformation

“We have gone from an archaic costly way of working, represented by a massive warehouse full of documents, to a timely system where multiple staff can access patient records simultaneously online,” says Darvill. Significantly, the trust is saving £1.1 million a year, information is available to clinicians when they need it, records are securely stored and the era of paper records is in the past.

CCube Solutions specialises in providing EDRM solutions, based on their software suite which holds and manages some 450 million documents containing over 52 billion pages for 33 million patients across 30 NHS organisations around the UK.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid, speaking recently at the Health Service Journal’s Digital Transformation Summit, emphasises that electronic patient records are the essential prerequisite for a modern, digital NHS, he says: “We must make sure that we have the structures in place that support the level of ambition that we all have for digital transformation.”

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