Improving the patient experience in the NHS – how can electronic document management help?

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One of the five national priorities set out in the NHS Operating Framework is to improve the patient experience. The sharing of critical information between GP’s and clinicians ensuring that the most up to date patient record is consulted can greatly enhance the comfort and confidence of a patient and this has become a high priority across the whole of the UK healthcare service.

It is estimated that clinicians spend over 25% of their time documenting and retrieving information and then distributing the results to relevant points of care and it is more often than not paper based. Reducing just a small percentage of this time spent on patient administration could save several billion pounds of money which could be put back into patient care. The broader picture also shows that every Acute Hospital in the UK spends millions of pounds a year ‘pushing’ paper around the organisation.

For this reason technology initiatives such as the consolidation of electronic information are being implemented in order to reduce the amount of paper based information. The key, however, to the success of an electronic document management solution is the management of the conversion processes . The paper needs to be phased out gradually and systematically so that access to vital information is never an issue as documents are being scanned. User education is also important as a high level of confidence is of paramount importance if the electronic patient record is to be accepted by all parties, including the patient.

For advice and guidance on the use of electronic document management in the healthcare sector, please call The IPC Group on 08081 45 46 47.

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