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London NHS Trust digitising legacy records as part of NHS-wide roll out

One London NHS trust has got a head-start on its counterparts by digitising its legacy patient records in what will be a regular occurrence among the country’s medical organisations over the coming years.

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The Royal London NHS Trust is bringing in an information management system that allows it to take all traditional paper patient records and case notes, and access them in a digitised format.

"For a complex hospital environment like ours, managing patient care using paper case-notes has been logistically very challenging," said Will Smart, director of information management & technology at the Royal Free. "Tracking and moving paper case notes across a large physical estate has made it difficult to ensure that these are available where and when they are needed and has required a large administrative team. By digitising these case-notes we have the opportunity to improve the quality of the services we provide whilst reducing costs.”

OpenText is providing the new platform that will be integrated with the Cerner-based Electronic Patient Records system already in place and it’s designed to help doctors and various members of medical staff get a rounded view of each patient’s medical condition.

OpenText’s suite of products works by capturing, processing, distributing, securing, managing and archiving both clinical and non-clinical content. It then streamlines patient record access, reduces processing errors that can hamper the process and allows compliance through the entire lifecycle of each patient’s record.

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Royal Free London NHS Trust’s system will be deployed hospital-wide in the summer and is part of the wider NHS Digital Health Strategy that aims to make it paperless by 2018, thus many other NHS trusts will be making the same move in the coming months.