The move to digital health records and away from the current paper-based medical folders is now in full swing at Noble’s Hospital, with the first patient files being scanned and made available to health experts in a live clinical environment.
When completed the project will see in excess of 100,000 medical records transferred into a digital format, with more than 16 million sheets of paper eventually being eliminated.
Because of the scale of the programme – which forms part of the Government-wide Digital Strategy – the work is being carried out one division at a time, starting with women and children before moving on to surgical and then the medical specialties.
With scanning operating at full speed there will be approximately 1.5 million sheets of paper from existing records scanned every month. That’s around 70,000 sheets every single working day.
Once a record is scanned, specialist software allows any number of authorised healthcare professionals to search, retrieve and review any patient record, even at the same time, something which is impossible with a single paper record.
The software has a number of different search settings, allowing clinicians and other health professionals to access patient information quickly and accurately, in a format designed to meet their specific clinical requirements.
A specialist scanning company, with lengthy experience of managing similar but larger projects for a number of UK NHS trusts, is the lead scanning partner for the project. They are being supported by local experts, with the physical scanning taking place on the Island.
Specialised training has been put in place throughout Noble’s Hospital, covering all the departments which will be using digital records.
Commenting as the programme went live, Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK, said:
'It is great to see a key part of the Digital Strategy coming to life. It is going to make a real difference to the wellbeing of patients and the working lives of our many healthcare professionals. Digital health records cut financial overheads by saving substantial physical storage space, they save clinical time, and they remove many hours spent filing, retrieving and returning heavy paper-based records. And of course they contribute to patient safety too, with instant access and instant sharing amongst medical specialists.'
This was a view shared by Richard Wild, Executive Director for Government Technology Services, who commented:
'This is another example of how our Digital Strategy makes a real difference to the lives of the people in the Isle of Man. This is state of the art technology, developed in partnership with industry experts and which is going to lead the way to more digital initiatives in the future.'
Pictured: Dr Gregor Peden uses the MediViewer tool to access patient records in his office at Noble's Hospital