St George's Healthcare NHS Trust
- Improve Patient Care
- Improve Cost efficiencies
- Safer Health Records
- Converting paper records to digital format will release time spent looking for casenotes which in turn means staff can spend more time at the patients bed side;
- The Trust will see a cost reduction in off-site storage;
- Digital records are more secure - allowing the authorisation of viewers, back up of records and a decreased risk of missing casenotes.
Following the 2013 ‘Paperless by 2018’ government initiative, the digitisation of electronic patient records has been high on the agenda. With that in mind, SGHNT has opted for a full Electronic Document Management solution and Scandox has been drawn in to handle the scanning consultancy.
A Busy Health Records Library
Like other Trusts in the UK, SGHNT has sometimes found the management of patient records difficult. The Health Records Library has been in existence for many years, contains a significant volume of data, is stored in a variety of different formats and is spread over a number of locations. All these factors have a momentous impact on both staff and patients alike. Records get lost, clinicians do not get access to the information they require, and staff spend an excessive amount of time carrying out administrative tasks.
In addition to the above, The Health Records Library, although having a destruction policy in place, has never destroyed a single record. There is currently a large amount of paperwork in storage and this is simply becoming unmanageable, not to mention costly for the Trust.
In line with this, Scandox have mapped all the scanning processes, written BS10008 compliant procedures and training manuals, trained staff and provided on-going coaching as the in-house scanning team settles in.
Caroline Knox, EDM Change Manager at St George’s talks to us about the Trust’s Paperless objectives and the benefits she envisages of an in-house scanning bureau.
Better Patient Care
The Trust’s overall EPR objectives are focused around improving patient care and cost efficiencies.
“We hope releasing staff of spending time looking for casenotes, will allow more time to be spent at the patients bed side”, says Caroline.
Based on a Health Records Audit, carried out by Scandox at the beginning of the project, the Trust were able to determine:
- The identification of records to scan based on attendance data analysis, with a view to maximise and speed up ROI;
- The size of the bureau space needed;
- Where the bureau will be located;
- How many staff are needed to operate the bureau;
- How many scanners are needed.
Scandox were also able to assist in the knowledge transfer of the physical scanning process in terms of preparation, scanning, quality assurance and indexing structure of the notes.
A Day Forward Electronic Solution
The process mapping, as outlined above, recommended a need for a “day forward scanning function” which is driven by patient clinics. Caroline explains when a patient comes in for an appointment, their record is pulled, taken to the scanning bureau, scanned and uploaded to the EDM in advance. All their information is then stored electronically and going forward, the clinician still uses paper notes – whether that be for discharge summaries, referral letters or correspondence, clinical notes etc, but it is sent directly from clinic to the bureau for scanning and upload.
Once the bureau has processed a number of batches, the paperwork is taken off-site and stored. SGHNT is currently in the process of preparing for their BS10008 audit (British Standard for Legal Admissibility and Evidential Weight of Electronic Information).
Once certification has been achieved, scanned paperwork will be stored for 3 months, then destroyed. This will be a giant leap from never having destroyed a paper casenote to retaining the paperwork for 3 months, not to mention storage cost reductions.
“ScanDox have a very good understanding of the scanning process and have successfully been able to support us in pulling that process into our existing systems. They are particularly good at understanding what is required in terms of how the NHS works and the existing processes within the Trust”, says Caroline.
The EPR project has just recently gone live in the Paediatrics clinic. Caroline explains clinicians are currently testing the system and will ramp up in the coming weeks. She explains the importance of the clinical engagement and the clinician, the end user, having access to the information they need. “Many have already been involved in similar projects and therefore are happy to progress”.
The process of digitising patient records involves specific requirements for ensuring Legal Admissibility in the form of the BS10008 standard. ScanDox are able to provide the necessary aid to help the Trust comply with the standard.
Working towards BS 10008 certification
Caroline explains “I have found it’s important to dedicate quality time assigned to BS 10008 as it is quite a complex project. However, the ScanDox team are always on hand if I need any assistance. They have a high level of BS 10008 knowledge and can ensure policies and procedures of the scanning bureau fit into place to both comply with the standard and the ‘business as usual’ approach of the Trust.”
“ScanDox have our best interests at heart”
“We are very happy with the service ScanDox has provided. They have been supportive from the very beginning and can always provide answers to my questions at the drop of a line. We have a very strong working relationship; from day 1 I felt I could trust ScanDox in terms of the service they were providing, the advice they were giving us and the direction they were taking us in. I always felt they had our best interests at heart and it has been a good experience for the Trust as a whole.” says Caroline.