Milton Keynes NHS trust saves £1m with electronic patient records

Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says it is continuing to realise savings as a result of investing over £2 million to digitise the trust’s entire patient records library.

Since the electronic document and records management (EDRM) project went live in all outpatient clinics three years ago, the trust says it has delivered a cumulative £1 million in savings against previous levels of spend, and continues to deliver recurrent cost savings.

Trudi Mynard, Milton Keynes Hospital’s head of patients’ services, said: “The EDRM project is all about improving the quality and accessibility of patient notes to assist clinicians. It also releases space, saves money and puts in place technology to support the hospital in the future.

"This is especially important as the NHS is challenged by the health secretary to become paperless.”

The cost savings will be made as the trust has reduced the headcount of its medical records staff by over 35 percent. In addition, it has made other administrative processes more efficient and repurposed the use of its library building.

Working in partnership with Hugh Symons Information Management (HSIM), which provided bureau scanning services, the trust has digitised 287,000 patient records each containing on average 200 pages. This totals some 57.4 million images.

CCube Solutions was chosen as Milton Keynes Hospital’s EDRM software supplier. It created an electronic version of the medical record to mirror the format of the paper notes. All clinical correspondence is stored in the EDRM system along with colour photographs, ECGs, CTGs and reports.

The digital record features a series of tabs similar to the paper file, along with a variety of sub sections to help navigation. For example, within individual tabs, the subsections enable clinicians to find important information like consent forms and operation sheets quickly and easily - documentation they regularly need to review.

Dr Ijaz Mehdi, associate medical director and member of the EDRM project board, said: “This has made a big difference to us because we can access and review the notes any time enabling us to improve patient care.

"For example, we may have a patient arrive at A&E or the medical assessment unit with chest pain. Before EDRM, the previous ECG would not be quickly available for us so we could not compare and confirm if the changes were new or old.

"Now we can immediately see the difference, correctly diagnose the condition thus enabling us to provide appropriate treatment that could be life saving.”

The EDRM solution is accessed throughout the hospital in clinics, wards, offices, operating theatres, on wheeled trolleys and tablets. All authorised staff have access to it once training has been given.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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