Content, Featured, Secondary Care

Digital transformation examples supporting the NHS Long Term Plan

The NHS Long Term Plan, published recently, includes a chapter solely on digital technology which details aims for the coming years. It states that, in 10 years’ time, the “NHS [in England] will offer a ‘digital first’ option for most, allowing for longer and richer face-to-face consultations with clinicians where patients want or need it”. NHS England has pledged that digitally-enabled care will go ‘mainstream’ across the NHS over the next decade, and, specifically for the digital transformation, set a number of objectives and milestones on the way to that goal:

  • In 2020/21, people will have access to their care plan and communications from their care professionals;
  • By 2023/24 every patient in England will be able to access a digital first primary care offer.
  • By 2024, secondary care providers in England, including acute, community and mental health care settings, will be fully digitised, including clinical and operational processes across all settings, locations and departments.
  • Data will be captured, stored and transmitted electronically, supported by robust IT infrastructure and cyber security, and LHCRs [Local Health Care Records] will cover the whole country.
  • Use decision support and artificial intelligence (AI) to help clinicians in applying best practice.
  • Use intuitive tools to capture data as a by-product of care in ways that empower clinicians and reduce the administrative burden
  • Protect patients’ privacy and give them control over their medical record
  • Encourage a world leading health IT industry in England with a supportive environment for software developers and innovators.

CCube Solutions has been working closely over the last several years with a number of Trusts and Health Boards up and down the country, helping them achieve their digital transformation objectives which will make it a lot easier for them to deliver the NHS’s Long Term digital agenda. A few notable examples include:

St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals 

St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals removed its paper medical documents to ensure they were available when and where healthcare professionals needed them. The projected utilised CCube Solutions EDRM to digitise 155,000 medical records. This meant the organisation stopped 7,000 letters being hand delivered each week. They opted for a scan on demand model so they only scanned what was needed. Over a staged roll-out of over 22 months the organisation reported £1.4 million in savings.

Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Aintree University Hospital looked to EDRM to digitise however taking a different route to St Helens & Knowsley. The Trust considered creating its own scanning bureau but then decided to outsource to a third-party scanning service provider. CCube Solutions software was installed. Aintree became the first trust to use forms recognition technology to automate the recognition and classification of pre-printed medical forms. The Trust has digitised 282,000 letters and generated £1 million annual savings. The solution means that healthcare professionals within a few clicks can access the information they need.

Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Milton Keynes Hospital approached the whole transition from paper to digital medical records by both setting up its own in-house scanning bureau and working with a third party outsourcing specialist, to do the back scanning. The in-house bureau is used for day-to-day scanning and The Trust has scanned 287,000 records equating to 57.4 million pages. The overall saving are over £1 million a year!

Primary Care Savings

The above examples have focused on records management in hospitals. Turning to GPs, CCube Solutions was involved in a significant primary care initiative called Electronic Lloyd George Service – eLGs. Capitalising on its experiences digitising records at its two hospital sites, St Helens and Whiston, St Helens & Knowsley HIS – working with CCube Solutions – took the pioneering step to offer its know-how in primary care and launched a fully managed and hosted service to digitise all the LG records which GPs have to keep in their surgeries. The eLG service includes collection, digitisation, hosting, training, and patient moves between practices. The CCube software is securely hosted so there is no need to install anything within practices – GPs simply connect, login, and have access to their information on their desktops. This initiative is about releasing more space in primary care, enhancing GP and practice staff productivity and removing a whole paper shuffling industry in primary care which in itself costs millions and millions.

The NHS has set a target to be paperless – many Trusts, Health Boards, and primary care practices working with CCube Solutions have already digitised hundreds of millions of records, saved time, money, and improved patient care, and are now ready for the next exciting wave of digital transformation which will include:

  • Sharing of information using established Open Standards, between systems, professionals, and patients
  • Use of AI for understanding the huge volume of digital content now available
  • Use of Electronic Forms for data capture at the point of care
  • Access to digital records using Smartphone Apps – anywhere, anytime