The digital roadmap to paperless
“Every day, care is held up and patients are kept waiting while an army of people transport and store huge quantities of paper round our healthcare system.”
These are the words of Tim Kelsey, NHS England’s National Director for Patients and Information and chair of the National Information Board, when he addressed 5,000 NHS leaders in Manchester. He was of course addressing the NHS’s ambition to be paper-free at the point of care by 2020.
In a digital age, patients expect that whenever and wherever they access health services, those caring for them can easily access their information. But delivery of this paper-free ambition is complicated and takes time. To get there, local health and care economies need local ‘digital roadmaps'.
How far along the digital roadmap are you?
A motorist’s roadmap is designed to show roads, routes and terrain, and like it, a digital roadmap does the same. It means that reaching the desired destination is mapped well, easy to follow and understood.
Every care provider should already be developing their roadmap – in fact the first versions are due in April 2016.
Roadmap milestones are likely to include buying software and other technologies. It’s vital these systems match the NHS’s legally-defined standards in holding and transferring data.
Like any journey, the move to paper-free will have both challenges and setbacks, but the change is more important than ever. It’s not just about switching patient records to digital, but it’s about switching to digital information-sharing and ways of communicating – it will affect GPs, clinicians, entire trusts and more.
Add the digital fax to your roadmap
At the moment, what choices do you have for sharing confidential patient information? Send by so-called secure post, or worse, email, chancing the dreaded junk folder? No thanks.
Digital fax is a safe way of sharing information. On average, organisations save 80% overnight. Using the digital fax means you can avoid costly Information Commissioner Office fines for breaching information governance, as it adheres to the NHS’s standards.
“The NHS in England must end the unnecessary reliance on paper in the treatment of patients. It’s key to making services safer, more effective and more efficient,” said Tim Kelsey last year.
And he’s right. To help your journey to paperless, join 40 NHS trusts already using the digital fax.
We're running a webinar on how digital fax can help you on your journey to paperless. Register here.