Understanding the Paperless NHS Challenge

MISL is currently scanning the largest medical records project in the UK. Read the MISL White Paper on A Paperless NHS to understand more about the challenge NHS Trusts are facing. Click here to view the White Paper.

When the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, laid down the challenge that the NHS would be “Paperless by 2018” no one realised quite what would be involved. Since then some projects to digitise legacy records and implement Enterprise Document Management Systems have succeeded and some have failed or stalled. The timing is right to look at the issue in the round and understand the various challenges in context.

Many projects in this area have started recently and, while there have been some successes, there have also been some pretty stark lessons learned. Historically document scanning, to the uninitiated, has been mistakenly viewed as one step away from photocopying. In the same way the challenge of moving to paperless healthcare provision is much more involved than simply scanning in the legacy paper records. The process touches every area of a healthcare organisation including the way in which information is accessed and captured during the patient lifecycle. This in turn affects operational and clinical teams and initiates a process of change that can send shock waves through the organisation. Maintaining and improving clinical care provision by sharing information securely is the key focus of this move to a paperless NHS. There is a real concern that, if projects are entered into without being fully understood, the results could be disastrous and costly. For the event we have invited experts from a variety of areas to discuss the challenge in an open forum. We are of the opinion that if we work collaboratively we will be stronger, safer and more effective in our delivery.

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