A hospitals trust in the UK has reported the successful deployment of an electronic document management (EDM) system after two years of piloting the technology.
The system implemented by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, and developed by e-health specialist Blueware, uses barcodes to keep track of paper records which have to be retained by law.
Philip Scott, the trust’s head of IT projects and development, said hospital managers had noticed “numerous benefits” resulting from the new system.
“There are significant cash releasing savings to be made – for example, in administration, staff, storage and transport to remote storage locations,” he said. “Safety improvements have also been key, aiding legibility issues and ensuring records are securely stored and easy to relocate.”
Mr Scott explained how the system worked in practice: “We bulk scan records active in the last 18 months, which are less urgent, and scan on demand all other records. Files are prepared first to remove any redundant content, and it is then replicated direct to the EDM. As we work in a single sign-on environment, this can easily be accessed by authorised personnel and tracked as the record is used.”
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