The Health & Social Care Delivery Plan advised the NHS to create hubs, enabling facilities to come together in one location. Digitising files supports this process by removing paper records and consequently releasing space.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) is the largest Health Board in the UK with a staff of 38,000 serving 1.2 million people. When planning a major capital investment programme, the board decided to digitise historic patient records. This would keep costs down, reduce the space required in new premises and make clinical information easier to find.
As part of a competitive tender process that looked at cost, security, experience and partnership working, we were selected for our proven experience with end-to-end document solutions.
“We’re delighted to have moved away from paper records. There’s no clutter, it’s more efficient and information is far more easily shared now, something that’s particularly important for out-of-hours patient care.”
We worked in partnership with Microtech, the NHSGGC project team and Board of IT, and individual GP practices. We managed the full end to end service in the collection, transit, scanning and uploading of all files into Docman, an electronic document management system used by GP practices.
Once the practice confirmed the quality of the images and the completeness of the records, the paper files were then securely destroyed. This delivery process is in accordance with the SCIMP guidelines.
It was critical that the records remained accessible during the scanning process. So we also provided an emergency scan-on-demand service, where any record waiting to be scanned could be made available as an electronic record inside four hours.
“As well as supporting the GPs practices through the process, we built on the guidance issued by SCIMP to make sure that the full clinical benefits would be realised, such as keeping patient records accessible to those working in primary care.”
With extra clinical and office space, improved record management, no deterioration of paper records and no paper storage costs, NHSGGC’s programme has delivered significant benefits.
The programme initially covered only those GP practices affected by the capital build. However, NHSGGC enabled practices to submit a business case for back scanning and, if successful, to also work with us to digitise their records.
“By digitising around 220 boxes of records from 7,000 patients we’ve freed up enough space to create an additional office and a consulting room. It’s delivered a better working environment for staff and patients and enabled us to work towards becoming a training practice.”
“We’ve made a significant investment in digitisation that’s improving health services for the board area as a result. Like all complex programmes it was technically challenging but by working closely with NEC colleagues we were able to iron out the glitches. We’ve developed a good working relationship and a very successful partnership.”