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Patient Records Scanning

patient records scanning

Improving GP Services with Digital Records

The NHS is in crisis at the moment, described by many medical professionals as ‘at breaking point.’ The latest disaster is a series of strikes, held by junior doctors in a row over new contracts, weekend working and pay. This comes after surveys highlighting public dissatisfaction with NHS services, and countless A&E waiting time targets missed.

Hospitals and GP services are under increasing pressure, and with the government looking to introduce a 7 day NHS in the near future, the whole system is about to change. Ministers say that people need access to GPs at weekends as well as in the week – but is it viable? With many GPs planning to quit the profession or retire in the next few years, the NHS may find themselves in a recruitment crisis, without enough doctors for the amount of patients.

Paperless NHS

Another reform which is currently under way is the paperless NHS initiative – services must become digital by 2018. Many NHS organisations have already made the switch and recorded multiple benefits to patients and staff. Recently an extra £4billion of funding was set aside in a new push for a paperless and digital health service.

Going digital is estimated to save the NHS £4billion per year – a figure which surely has the potential to be spent elsewhere and improve services. As part of the move to paperless operations and a plan to increase remote services, the NHS is planning to:

  • Allow patients to access health records online
  • Introduce remote monitoring so patients can be treated at home rather than in hospital
  • Make sure digital medical records are used rather that paper files in GP surgeries and hospitals
  • Create new online services and apps. This will provide extra patient support and allow them to book services and order prescriptions online. Patients will also be able speak to doctors via a video link.
  • Free Wi-Fi in NHS buildings

Medical Record Scanning

Switching millions of paper medical records over to digital records won’t be an easy task – but it is achievable with a professional scanning service. At Pearl Scan, all records are scanned by fast hi-tech scanning equipment, and instantly transferred into OCR digital files. The digital medical records can then be searched using the document storage and retrieval software. Staff can search using a patient name, date of birth, date of last appointment, patient number or consultant name.

The medical record scanning process is efficient and confidential. The qualified team at Pearl Scan have worked with numerous public and private health organisations to improve their document management, and all services are quality assessed by national boards. The company also complies with Data Protection 1998 regulations.

A GP is usually the first point of call when someone is feeling ill. They can identify serious illnesses and recommend other professional services if needed. This is why it’s essential that GP services are effective and help patients as much as possible – and going digital is one step in the right direction.

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NHS Moves Towards Paperless Operations

Medical record scanning sesrvices for London from Pearl Scan.

Many organisations across all industries can benefit from going paperless – and the government has already highlighted the National Health Service as one such organisation. The NHS has a target to digitalise patient records and become completely paperless, which will reduce time spent on administrative tasks and hopefully improve patient care. NHS Trusts are already expected to have patient records online, but health secretary Jeremy Hunt has challenged the NHS to become a paperless operation by 2018.

This move to roll out paperless operations has already started, with some NHS Trusts and GP practices taking the plunge and making the digital switch. The first NHS Trust to go paperless a few years ago was St Helens & Knowsley, and now other across the UK are on a paperless trail. In one GP practice in the area, moving to a digital database has freed up 20 square metres of space and freed up staff who had to spend two to three hours manually searching records for referral letters and other records. Dr David Wilson predicts digitalising all 11,000 records has reduced admin costs by one person a day each week.

With such positive reports from professionals who have made the paperless switch, many other NHS trusts are following suit well ahead of the 2018 deadline. One of the most recent areas to implement the digital strategy is Royal Free London NHS Trust, which treats around 700,000 patients each year. All paper care records are being transferred to digital, so staff can have instant access to records and patient information.

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Will Smart, Director of information management and technology at the Royal Free said, "For a complex hospital environment like ours, managing patient care using paper case-notes has been logistically very challenging. 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, and believe the new platform will enable us to digitise other paper-based corporate records and drive further efficiencies.”

The NHS obviously has an obligation to keep patient records and log all communication with patients for compliance. Medical record scanning services and electrical storage is more efficient and cost effective for private and NHS hospitals, doctor’s surgeries, dentists and medical trusts. A digital archive system can securely store case notes, information and event digitised X-rays, while reducing admin costs. For more information about how medical record scanning can improve your healthcare practice and reach digitalisation targets, get in touch.

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Why choose Pearl Scan

Document scanning | Audits

We are backed up by external quality and security audits. Our operations have been audited and approved by many NHS, Local Authorities, Private blue chip companies and we pride ourselves on the high levels of quality and security we provide to each and every one of our clients.

Our data capture and document scanning services offered in London are accredited to industry standards.