County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust deploys EDM to go 'paperless'

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has brought in outsourcer Civica to implement the next stage of its “paperless NHS” strategy.

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County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust has brought in outsourcer Civica to implement the next stage of its “paperless NHS” strategy.

The deal will see the trust use Civica’s electronic document management (EDM) system to digitise the records of its patients, transforming the way that information is audited and governed, and ultimately improving patient care, the trust said.

The trust has 890,000 active patient records. As a result of the deal clinical and administrative staff will have faster access to vital patient information, which will better inform clinical decisions and free up valuable time.

The trust will use Civica’s WinDIP technology, which is currently being used by 50 other NHS trusts nationwide.

The technology ensures that patient information is accurate, up-to-date and easily accessible from any location, whist being stored in a completely secure environment.

WinDIP reduces file storage space and replaces filing racks and cabinets, becoming a centralised system to house patient records. If, for example, a patient visits a clinic and is referred to a different department within the trust, the relevant staff members will be able to instantly access the right records, to help speed up the whole treatment process.

Transport, storage, administrative costs and the risk of lost patient records will be significantly reduced over the next 10 years as a result, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said.

Diane Murphy, clinical director of service transformation and project sponsor at the trust, said: “We’re aiming to have paperless clinical record management by 2015 and this is the next step in our strategy to get there.

"Being able to provide our clinicians and administrative staff with the information they need at the touch of a button will transform the way patients are treated, and help us make huge savings in the years to come.”