A paperless NHS?

electronic health, electronic patient records

Nearly half of NHS IT decision makers worry about meeting 2020 paperless deadline. With the deadline to meet the government’s paperless healthcare initiative looming, OpenText, a global leader in Enterprise Information Management (EIM), has surveyed respondents from 115 NHS trusts and organisations, using iGov Survey, about whether they feel ready for 2020.

Nearly half of CIOs and directors (46%) are concerned over whether they can meet the government deadline in less than four years’ time, with two-fifths (39%) of respondents reporting that patient records are not currently digitised within their organisation.

However, the majority of respondents (78%) said that digitising patient records would benefit their organisation. Access to data and information from any location, at any time, and on any device (30%) and the ability to access data and information faster (31%) were cited as the main benefits.

Furthermore, it is clear that mobile and wearable technology is key to future strategy and unlocking these benefits. 70% of NHS organisations stated there is scope for wearables to be introduced in the coming years, and over half (55%) plan to increase the use of mobile and/or wearable technology used by staff members.

Yet despite this, there were several barriers to implementing a ‘paperless environment’ including:

·         A lack of suitable technology already within our organisation (49%)

·         A lack of in-house skills to implement a ‘paperless’ initiative (56%)

·         Budget restrictions (75%)

Commenting on the research, Mark Bridger, Vice President of Sales UK at OpenText said, “It’s important to note that it’s not too late for organisation to start implementing digital strategies to meet the 2020 deadline, and the government’s paperless initiative should be seen as just one part of a journey towards fully digital healthcare provision.

“My advice would be to think about how your organisation is going to manage all this new data created in a digital healthcare system beyond 2020. Take a step back to see the enterprise as a whole – identifying where the paper is, engaging all members of staff at all levels and thinking about process flows. Only then can better business efficiencies be consistently delivered within the healthcare sector.”

3 Replies to “A paperless NHS?”

  1. Providing patients with instant access to healthcare records through approved apps and wearables is a positive step towards a paperless NHS. But this initiative must be supported by a wider strategy designed to improve the management of health records, safely and securely.

    Accelerating the digitisation of paper-based records, designing improved sharing processes and new ways of working should all be top of the health secretary’s to do list.

    Tony Pickering, professional services director, Ricoh UK

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