Going paperless: Papworth hospital and CCube

Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the largest cardiothoracic centre in the country, has installed its new electronic document and records management software that, working with workflow and eForms modules, are creating a functioning electronic medical records system.

Papworth believes that the system, from CCube Solutions, will be a big step towards it being able to improve how patient referral paperwork and medical notes are indexed, routed and shared among clinicians and clerical staff.

The system comprises a new eReferrals application, an eClinical letter and workflow approval system along with integration with a third party digital dictation solution.

Better handling of patient notes

And while many other NHS Trusts have digitised patient records, Papworth has taken an innovative approach to using its eletronic medical record by concentrating on the patient’s pathway from the moment an individual is referred to the hospital to boost efficiency, reduce costs and enhance patient care.

Plus, as its imminent new state-of-the-art £165 million hospital on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, will not have a paper records library on site, better handling of patient notes are managed and most referrals come from other hospitals via letter, a better system was required.

“For the first time, all referrals will be handled electronically," noted Karen Thompson, Papworth Hospital’ s business change project manager.

"This reduces the time, risk, duplication and costs in circulating paper around the hospital and rationalises an inefficient process.”

New digital dictation system

All referral letters will now be scanned into the system on arrival to make them visible to staff and show where a patient is in the booking and treatment process, say the partners, while patients can be prioritised according to their needs, with two workstreams created simultaneously (an administrative pathway and a clinical pathway). Both work independently of each other, while from an administrative perspective, the health records team can look at the referral on their computers, register a patient if required, check the demographic information and input patient data into the PAS. The Business Support team can also then check clock start dates and 18-week pathway status.

For clinicians, letters will appear in the eMR system with all supporting notes, allowing them to use the system to complete a series of actions such as document the treatment they want to do, which clinic should be involved, whether to add a patient to a waiting list or route the individual to another colleague. Secretaries will also have visibility of what is happening so that appointments can be arranged.

Finally, Papworth has also integrated its new digital dictation system with eMR replacing an old analogue solution, which means clerical support staff can now listen and type letters within this which improves the speed of the letter drafting process and allows managers to better organise and route work for staff.

“Papworth is hoping that by greatly reducing the amount of paper produced at the outset, it won’t have to do back scanning given the cost and complexity of doing so," added Vijay Magon, CCube Solutions’ managing director.

"This makes a lot of sense as over 70 per cent of new patient information is generated electronically anyhow.”

A tertiary trust with most referrals coming from other hospitals, Papworth is the UK’s largest specialist cardiothoracic hospital and the country’s main heart and lung transplant centre. Employing 1,669 staff, it treats over 23,800 inpatient and day cases each year along with 73,000 outpatients.

Papworth Hospital will be rebuilt at the Cambridge BiomedicalCampus, which is also home to Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie hospitals, Cancer Research UK, AstraZeneca, Glaxo Smith Kline and the Medical Research Council (MRC).