CCube Solutions announces today that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has implemented its electronic document and records management system (EDRMS) to store legacy and day-forward paper medical records as part of a substantial investment to deliver digitally-enabled care.
The EDRMS project is part of a major digital transformation change programme within the Trust - to boost clinical and organisational efficiency - which will also see the procurement of a new organisational-wide EPR system and the integration of the two new platforms together.
Fully operational and ‘live’ today, 7,500 clinical staff will be trained to the use the CCube EDRMS to ultimately access all of the Trust’s medical files – totalling around 650,000 patient records all of which are in the process of being scanned. This will help support the Trust’s busy workload of 32,000 outpatient appointments per month, delivered primarily from its large Blackpool Victoria Hospital site.
EDRMS provides instant access to medical records, enhances patient safety through 100% notes availability, improves clinical effectiveness, enhances security and auditing and saves money. It is also allowing storage areas to be converted into much needed clinical space.
Geoff Burrow, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals’ Chief Information Officer, explains, “Covid obviously delayed our progress with this project, but we’re now fully operational with EDRMS and focused on getting rid of the paper. Over 50,000 paper records have already been scanned in, each containing about 300 pages.”
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is situated on the west coast of Lancashire and operates within a regional health economy catchment area that spans Lancashire and South Cumbria, supporting a population of 1.6 million and an estimated 18 million visitors to the seaside town of Blackpool. The Trust also provides specialist tertiary care for cardiac and haematology services across this region, as well as hosting the National Artificial Eye Service.
The vast workload to scan all paper notes is being done in two ways. First, the Trust has invested in creating its own scanning department where 35 staff use 10 Opex Falcon scanners, supplied by CCube Solutions, to process the paperwork. Second, scanning has also been outsourced within the National Health Service to the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) – one of the largest specialist scanning operators in Europe – who use the same Opex Falcon equipment.
A not-for-profit arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care, the NHSBSA has long track record in document scanning given its expertise and heritage processing all paper prescriptions in the UK which still total tens of millions per month.
The Opex Falcon scanners are rated at 116 pages per minute at 300 dpi – the resolution recommended to meet BS 10008, a best practice records standard for the implementation and operation of electronic information management systems, including the storage, extraction and transfer of information.
Burrow says, “CCube EDRMS is designed to literally be an online version of the paper record and has six sections busy clinicians are familiar with. This makes it easy and intuitive for them to find the documents they need whether it be clinical correspondence, clinical notes, treatment documents, investigation reports, safeguarding documents and so on.”
Given the transition underway between paper and electronic notes, when clinicians log into the Trust’s Patient Administration System (PAS) today, they are currently presented with a marker to show whether the patient’s record is available digitally or still in paper format.
Burrow adds, “We’re currently working on the detail but the strategy will be to adopt scan-on-demand so that when a patient is booked for an appointment, their notes are pulled from the library, digitised ahead of time and then made available in the CCube EDRMS. This then saves moving any paper files about.”
The shift from paper to digital health records will deliver a variety of other benefits:
- 100% notes availability. Electronic health records are available at the touch of a button to the right person at any time. This avoids delays in patients receiving treatment - or even appointments cancelled - if their paperwork isn’t readily available.
- Remote and multi-user access. Remote and multi-user access to health records is now delivered 24/7. This is key given the ‘new normal’ of remote working post pandemic and the requirement for multi-disciplinary teams to collaborate together – and view medical notes at the same time – to provide care to an individual.
- ‘In context’ access to medical records to be offered. As the Trust is currently procuring a new organisational-wide EPR, once this is finalised and the software deployed, a link will be added so that clinicians opening a patient’s record in the EPR can see - in context - the legacy digitised health record held in the EDRMS, too. This links the two systems together.
- Security and data integrity is enhanced. Scanning records vastly improves the security of confidential patient information as files once digitised cannot degrade, be lost or be misplaced. Data is also backed up, access to the system logged and audited, and information lifecycle management rules applied to the data.
The CCube EDRMS runs on Dell EMC server and storage systems in the Trust’s two on-premise datacentres, dual-linked for resilience to ensure system availability and uptime.
Vijay Magon, CCube Solutions’ managing director, says, “Our research shows that on average a paper record is handled 10 to 15 times from storage to delivery. Not only is there an infection risk as people touch the paper but the costs just keep mounting each time files are requested and then put away. It is super to support Blackpool Teaching Hospitals address this: an invest to save process to get rid of the paper once and for all which will massively increase efficiency, improve staff productivity and enhance the overall care provided to patients locally.”