Document Management in the NHS

With the large volumes of documentation that the NHS handles on a daily basis, a document management system which offers the ability to organise this is going to be of great importance. As part of this process, the benefits that individual NHS Trusts can accrue from a programme of document scanning and indexing can also be immense, both in terms of time saving and efficiency.

These benefits were some of the points that ADEC Preview looked to highlight in their "Document Management Healthcheck" presentation at the ASSIST event (Association of Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care) this month. It also gave the opportunity to highlight some of the work that ADEC Preview has been carrying out at a number of NHS Trusts such as Leeds Mental Health.

The issues that many of the Trusts are experiencing tend to fall into 3 main categories which primarily revolve around the issue of accessibility of the records they require on a day to day basis. These issues are often compounded by the fact that the Trusts run several different sites across their region with documents produced and stored locally but needed to be accessed by all of them.

The issues most commonly highlighted are:

  1. The ability to both locate the information quickly coupled and access it as easily as possible. Due to multiple sites involved, this could often result in a time consuming search for specific documents.
  2. With document being in constant demand, real ease of access also required that more than one person should be able to work with the documents at a time, something that was certainly problematic with paper documents.
  3. The need to store a constantly increasing mountain of files and documents was putting more and more pressure on space which was already at a premium. More filing cabinets and archive boxes would only compound this further.

In each of these cases, the digitisation of the documents by scanning and indexing them, would effectively deal with these issues at one fell swoop giving instant access to the information to all authorised personnel across the region, not to mention freeing up some badly needed space.

But what happens if you need a document while they are all being scanned and indexed? No longer are they sitting in one of the filing cabinets waiting to be found, they’re in ADEC Preview’s facilities in London! No problem - with ADEC Preview’s Scan on Demand service coming to the rescue, any document required can be processed and put online to be viewed easily and quickly.