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Lessons From 30 NHS Trusts

We have worked closely with NHS trusts across the UK for many years. In that time, we have uncovered a series of common challenges and opportunities.

First, trust members share a strong desire to deliver excellent patient care. Second, they plan to improve the NHS and what it stands for – quality care for all. Today, the NHS is undergoing major changes to its core structure, including who makes decisions about services and the way money is spent. But it is also a time of great medical breakthroughs and health innovations. These goals are, of course, part of a continuous journey. As well as a hunger to improve, what else feeds the innovations that might help trusts meet these goals? Technology. To help trusts improve step by step.

After working with thirty NHS trusts, there is one common denominator. Members aim to drive a paperless NHS system, to remedy entrenched practices and manual procedures which are harming patient care, as well as hampering confidentiality. We have helped trusts make the move to electronic systems, such as electronic patient records and electronic fax. Yes fax. We are often asked: Why fax for the NHS? Simple. Communication is crucial to deliver excellent healthcare. Caregivers do not want to be burdened with concerns over patient confidentiality, or the pressure of sending patient records to the incorrect recipient. Email cannot be trusted, as it can be intercepted, manipulated and often ends up in a junk folder.

Imagine you have been at hospital for a number of weeks, and today you are told that finally you can go home. Yet, while you are waiting on the ward, your nurses expect a notification allowing you to be discharged – but, it is stuck in a spam folder. Or worse, your important pharmacy prescription is stuck in a junk folder, or has been sent to a different email address. The result? You are told you must wait another day to go home to your own bed. You are also aware that your case is only adding to the bed-blocking burden.

Electronic fax, Zetafax, allows you to send and receive faxes from your email or tablet. In the background it uses the latest reliable point-to-point faxing technology, which is a huge step forward towards a paperless service. The added sweetener to electronic fax is the all-important overnight compliance with IG rules, as well as the end of expensive faxing hardware such as fax lines, fax machines and dedicated fax servers.

So, if you feel your voice is lost in the wilderness in your attempt to improve and move your NHS trust to an efficient paperless system; help is at hand, and online.

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