The first Trust in the UK to stop using paper medical records, St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, has upgraded to the latest version of CCube Solutions’ electronic document management software (EDMS) as it continues its journey of shifting from paper light to paper free processes.
Utilising a completely re-architected version of CCube Solutions’ software, version 4 will introduce support for mobile and tablet devices, introduce additional workflow, OCR and eForms capabilities, and enable closer integration with the Trust’s other IT systems including a brand-new PAS.
In 2010, St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust pioneered the use of a scan-on-demand approach to digitising medical records and serving them electronically to clinical staff in what was then a landmark and award-winning initiative well ahead of its time.
Using a customised version of CCube Solutions’ EDMS software and a bespoke portal – created for the first time in the NHS further to close collaboration with clinicians and other key stakeholders – the Trust migrated away from a labour intensive and unsustainable paper process which involved moving 7,000 records each week between its two hospital sites – St Helens and Whiston. Around 130,000 medical records were digitised – some 41 million pages – which has saved the Trust £1.4 million annually further to an initial £1.2 million investment.
The digital system implemented mirrored the old paper medical file and displays information such as patient name, appointment time, last doctor’s letter, and has a range of links – so-called chapters - so that clinicians can quickly and easily delve into a patient’s medical history. Over 500 doctors and 130 medical secretaries were trained with the implementation gradually rolled out over 22 months.
“We set the agenda for other NHS organisations to follow. Many Trusts have visited St Helens & Knowsley to see how we solved our paper problems. We’ve practically become the digital blueprint for modern medical records delivery.”
Karl McIntyre, St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Services’ Assistant Director for Innovation
New version of CCube Solutions’ EDMS allows the Trust to build on its success
Now completely deployed and live, the introduction of version 4 of CCube Solutions’ EDMS will allow the Trust to capitalize on the work and success made to date to digitally transform.
McIntyre says, ”We’ll be integrating EDMS with the Medway solution so that when you’re in the PAS, you’ll be able to click on a button and launch EDMS to view the scanned paper record of a patient. Currently clinicians have to flick between the two systems.”
St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service has also shifted the CCube EDMS onto a VMware virtualised server environment running Windows Server 2012. All patient data – around 15 TB worth - is stored onsite securely on EMC Isilon and VNX storage arrays and managed by the Trust itself.
Typically, the Trust has around 400 concurrent users of EDMS. During the upgrade project, the whole CCube EDMS platform was performance tested to ensure scalability.
McIntyre says, “During the migration phase some bottleneck issues arose when usage increased. Minor infrastructure changes were made and code altered and we stresstested EDMS with up to 750 staff and the performance was linear. This gives us the absolute confidence that we can scale and take on three times the number of users if our workload increases.”
Vijay Magon, CCube Solutions’ managing director, says, “Clinical and administrative processes in hospitals change all the time. You cannot successfully introduce EDMS if you expect an organisation to have to bend to the way the software operates. It has to support the way clinicians want to work and be configurable and flexible. That’s what we have achieved at St Helens &Knowsley along with all our other NHS trust customers and is why we get such wide scale clinical acceptance and buy-in.”