Aneurin Bevan Health Board in south Wales is to spend more than £981,000 relocating and digitising its paper patient records.
The board is planning to transfer the paper records from storage in each of its community and acute hospitals, to one central location. This initial phase will cost the health board £482,680.
Phase two over 2012-13 will see the records scanned into an electronic system – a process costing £498,566.
A business case for the project said holding records at each of the hospitals was jeopardising patient safety.
“When patients move between hospital sites there can sometimes be an incomplete clinical history for the treating clinician which is an inherent risk to the patient.”
The board is also due to open a new hospital before the year’s end, the Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, which was designed to receive records electronically.
The board has been working to install the Myrrdin patient administration system and hopes to go live by the end of October.
The new hospital opening will mean the closure of the Caerphilly District Miners Hospital and the need to re-house the 90,000 records currently stored there.
A new facility will be opened at Online House in Newport to house the records.
Digitising the records will be done on an ‘on-demand’ scanning basis so the documents that are ‘active’, and needed in the clinical environment, will be scanned first, and the archived notes being made a lower priority.
“This ‘scan-on-demand’ system will allow patients who have made more than one appointment on the same day to have their records viewed across several departments without the delay of transferring the record manually” the business case says.
The board has taken its lead from St Helen’s and Knowsley NHS trust which has achieved a successful implementation of scan-on-demand.
It has reduced its health record library by 45% in two years, saved 15% on staff time and increased throughput in outpatients due to reduced delays in waiting for records.
Funding for the amalgamation and digitisation of the health records has come from the board’s capital funding allocation. The current business case notes a recurrent revenue gap of £275,000, but £175,000 of this relates to capital charges.
The document says the executive team is confident that as work progresses it will result in a reduction in staffing levels through ‘natural wastage’, which will in turn address the revenue gap.
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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