Secondary Care

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust moves to digital

The Trust will use cloud technology to remove the need for paper-based forms using Greenlight, a streamlined intelligent form and workflow solution designed to improve administration of employee forms.

Providing healthcare services to around 370,000 people from Colchester and the surrounding area of north east Essex and south Suffolk, The Trust was previously using paper-based processes, which were reliant on doctors providing correct and timely information. Data capture and quality varied greatly, with issues such as doctor’s handwriting to tackle, increasing the chances of delays and errors in remunerating medical additional sessions.

Medical additional sessions, change forms, management of terminations and The Trust’s own establishment control processes will now be digitised using Greenlight’s online forms from Software Europe, provider of cloud technology for people, expenses and contracts.

“Using Greenlight means our controls will be more robust and removes a lot of the manual processes involved in paper-based forms. Managing additional sessions is a big issue for the NHS as a whole, so wading through numerous paper timesheets is time consuming and, on occasion, can lead to errors in repayment,” comments Simon Oliver, Head of Financial Management at the Trust. “Using Greenlight means we can speed up the payment of medical additional sessions for doctors and consultants. We already use NHS Expenses from Software Europe, which links into the hospital’s payroll provider, so we were already geared up in that sense. There’s no new passwords or login details we need to worry about.

Benefits of the system are increased approval times for items, visibility and reporting features through standardised reports built into the product and insight into where additional sessions is being spent – helping the hospital identify where staffing issues may exist. Additional benefits include reductions in processing costs involved with locating, filing, archiving and routing paper forms for review and approval.

Simon continues: “Visibility for us is key. If you get incorrect, poor quality data in, you get incorrect, poor quality data out, so having a system set to include dates, who is paid what, how many hours of additional sessions has been done and how many patients were seen is all valuable information that doctors and consultants will be required to provide. With the new system we’ll have a much deeper wealth of information and visibility that would be time consuming to extract with paper-based forms.”

Neil Everatt, CEO of Software Europe comments: “When NHS finances are under considerable scrutiny, it’s encouraging to see that Colchester is continuing to move away from paper to digital. Colchester is taking the lead in demonstrating the need, and benefits, of using cloud technology to better provide visibility and reporting across the organisation.”

The electronic system is currently being tested and due live in 2016.