The NHS is on a necessary path to digitisation and has a clear imperative to go paperless against tough targets. But this is not proving to be an easy journey.
According to the British Medical Journal, the NHS failed to deliver against a headline target of a paperless health service by 2018. As a result, NHS Trusts now have a revised target to reach a “core level of digitisation” by 2024.
This means document digitisation is a key area of focus – one that’s relevant in multiple departments in every hospital. Healthcare providers are looking for solutions that transform existing processes, enabling hospitals to better manage clinical information and patient records.
So, why the need to go paperless?
When healthcare professionals have instant access to accurate information, patients receive better care. But there are other significant factors driving the need to go digital. Using and storing paper medical records is a drain on time and money, costing the NHS millions every year. Paper records are prone to human error of misfiling, which can put patient care at risk. And NHS Trusts can end up facing GDPR compliance issues if health records are lost. Hospital administrators and medics know that they need to make the switch to real-time digital record keeping, and this is where reseller partners can help, by offering guidance about the right solutions.
What does digitisation achieve?
By making improvements in document digitisation and management, it’s possible to reduce the administrative burden on care professionals, to boost efficiencies, reduce costs and ensure security of confidential information. Many hospitals across the UK have chosen Canon as their partner in achieving these goals, trusting their comprehensive range of imaging devices, software and services to deliver results. Canon’s technology is making a significant difference and opens up opportunities for resellers across multiple departments.
Centralised scanning and scanning rooms
Many hospitals have scanning rooms, where a number of clinics within that hospital send their daily patient record forms for digitisation and distribution. The sheer volume of forms that need scanning in any one day requires a scanner that’s both fast and capable of superior image quality. The same goes for the task of archiving historical patient medical records – an activity that’s currently proving a time-consuming challenge for many hospitals. To make these tasks as quick and efficient as possible, Canon has scanners that can process up to 290 images per minute and 70,000 scans a day, plus flexible connectivity and integration options. You’ll find Canon’s high speed production scanners hard at work in various hospitals across the UK.
Scanning on wards and in departments
In a drive to enable the digitisation of patient notes, hospitals are seeing an opportunity to put scanning points on their wards. To support healthcare professionals during a busy day, the scanner needs to be easy to use as well as robust. Care staff don’t have time to deal with paper jams and slow scanning speeds. There’s often limited space, so a smaller footprint can be a big advantage. One hospital has now put 500 Canon scanners throughout wards and is now reaping the rewards of far-reaching process transformation. We expect many others to follow suit in order to achieve the 2024 target. For example, working in partnership with Canon for electronic document management, Blackpool Teaching Hospital Trust is saving 4.3 million sheets of paper per year, making a 74% saving on carbon dioxide and has seen an 81% reduction in energy. Better for patients and the planet.
Mobile scanning for professionals in the field
A great deal of healthcare happens beyond hospital walls, with doctors, physiotherapists, community nurses and care professionals working in people’s houses and care homes. This is where mobile scanners have a pivotal part to play in keeping digital records flowing. The North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has equipped health visitors with Canon’s lightweight, portable scanners. Versatile and compact, these USB-powered scanners are built for life on the road and offer true plug-and-scan convenience.
The bigger picture for process transformation
Having the right scanners for each job is crucial, but this needs to be backed up by useful software and services. Canon has this covered. All scanners are supplied with Canon’s intuitive, feature-rich capture software – CaptureOnTouch. Many NHS customers are using this software as the means of controlling the scanner and creating scanning job workflows, simplifying the processing and management of documents. But with CaptureOnTouch there is also an API toolkit available, making it possible to create bespoke integrations with existing applications and Patient Record Management systems.
Working in partnership with Ingram Micro and Canon
Right now, there are many opportunities in healthcare. Canon and Ingram Micro are ready to support reseller partners with healthcare sales, working with you at every stage to provide the guidance and solutions that your customers need. By teaming up with us, you have access to Canon’s experts and Ingram Micro’s full portfolio of services to complement your own skills.
If you’d like to know more about opportunities in healthcare, please get in touch to find out more.