Large UK hospital to tear up paper records amid digitisation drive


A hospital in the UK is preparing to scrap its old paper records and replace them with a new digital system that aims to improve efficiency.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of Europe’s largest teaching hospitals and has opted to use the company’s technology to manage more than three million patient records.

The project covers more than 17,000 staff and treats over 1.6 million patients each year across seven hospitals and 175 medical facilities.

Leeds hospital chose the open-source solution as it needed something that would work with its existing medical record system.

It also needed a system that would allow clinical staff to view records across multiple care providers in different systems in real time.

The trust is now planning the mammoth task of converting huge volumes of paper records into a digital format.

The system scans records into Alfresco and the paper document is then destroyed, eliminating the need to store documents for years on end.

Later this year the trust expects to start uploading around 10 terabytes of data and scanning a whole warehouse full of records into the system.

Leeds Hospital made the changes as Health Secretary Matt Hancock is pushing the NHS to use more digital technology to improve efficiency.

Hancock has set up a special agency called NHSX to encourage digitisation of everyday tasks in the health service.

Other initiatives include phasing out pagers and faxes by the end of 2021 and replacing them with alternatives that allow secure sharing of sensitive data.

Last week UK health authorities approved a free messaging app for use in hospitals in a move designed to stop them using consumer services such as WhatsApp.

Hospify is the first general purpose messaging app to be given the stamp of approval by the organisations overseeing the NHS Apps Library.

These include NHS Digital, NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care, General Practitioners, Public Health England, NICE, the MHRA, and the CQC.