The Need to Commit to Data Scanning
In February 2016, the government set aside £4bn for the NHS. This was to be used to launch the drive towards a totally paperless NHS, removing out-dated technology and helping towards newly developed virtual document management systems.
Many trusts are making steps in order to help towards the target set of achieving a totally paperless NHS in 2018, however some trusts are facing difficulties and have halted plans to scan their library of paper documentation. The Heart of England NHS Trust foundation in Birmingham has stopped their digitisation processes and has reverted back to using paper notes, stating problems with the speed of accessing the digital version of patient records.
In the long run, the drive towards a paperless NHS is a move, which can ultimately save time and the lives of the British public. The lack of data sharing between NHS organisations has been a long-standing problem, which could get solved as we move closer the NHS envisioned for 2018. By scanning in patient records and creating a digitised database, a patient’s medical history could be accessed by any medical member of staff, whenever or wherever they need it. If an ambulance arrives on a scene to take a patient to hospital, being able to have immediate access to data gathered by a GP on a persons prescribed medication and healthcare history could help to inform future decision faster, saving time and lives. Photographs and X-rays can also be scanned, creating a full overview of a patient’s medical history to be used by Hospitals and GP surgeries alike.
Creating a paperless NHS would also look to benefit the public externally, with plans for patient records being available online for those who wish to see them too.
With such a large amount of physical documentation being gathered by the NHS, and more accumulating every day it comes as no surprise that, as is the case with the Heart of England Trust, issues with speeds of scanning and accessing the information prove to be a significant challenge to be faced. However, in light of this, other trusts finding it difficult to keep up with the targets set are urged to continue their efforts, in order to help towards the overall larger goal.
At Pearl Scan, we have been working closely with the medical sector for over 10 years, providing our range of document scanning and storage solutions to both NHS departments and private healthcare trusts. We can collect all folders to be scanned on the same or next day from any institution within mainland UK, and offer a speedy digitisation service. With our years on experience in this sector, we understand the importance of maintaining quality data protection and security policies. Get in touch with a member of team at Pearl Scan today, to see how they can help to implement the important move to a paperless NHS.