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o Project also won ‘Gold Project of the Year’ at the 6th Annual DM Awards, and was finalist in the Techworld Awards 2012

CCube Solutions has announced that Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been named ‘highly commended’ in the public sector project of the year category at this year’s prestigious BCS and Computing UK IT Industry Awards.

The Trust was recognised for its innovative approach implementing an electronic medical records (EMR) system to enable instant access to patient information, guarantee case note availability at the point of care, improve efficiency, and reduce the costs, security risks and space associated with paper handling and storage.

The BCS and Computing UK IT Industry Awards provide a platform for the entire profession to celebrate best practice, innovation and excellence. In total, this year’s awards featured 23 categories which covered: project, organisation, technology and individual excellence. The categories were open to organisations and individuals involved in IT across the public, not for profit and commercial sectors.

Used by around 3,000 health professionals on a daily basis, the Trust installed an electronic document management system from CCube Solutions, with outsourced scanning services provided by Capita Total Document Solutions powered by Kodak production scanners and imaging software.

Stuart Sumner, editor of Computing commented, “I would like to congratulate the winners and those who were highly commended on their achievements. The UK IT Industry Awards are rigorously judged and truly celebrate innovation and best practice in IT today.”

The project is grounding breaking for two main reasons. First, Aintree is the first NHS Trust to successfully use forms recognition technology, including OCR, to automate the process of recognising pre-printed forms – which make up 95% of the paper file - when digitising records. This ensures contents are correctly indexed even if forms are incorrectly filed in the physical records. This is in contrast to other Trusts where staff manually go through the paper files prior to scanning to check and order contents.

Forms recognition technology allows the system to automatically “find” forms in the scanned patient record rather than clinicians having to “search” for them.

Professor Mike Pearson, consultant physician, says, “Some Trusts have just scanned the whole patient record which is useless as doctors are presented with thousands of PDF pages and accessing information is almost impossible. The innovative indexing developed for our solution means we can find many results as quickly or faster than using paper, with the system allowing doctors just three or four clicks to information.”

Second, Aintree is the first NHS Trust to successfully work with a third party using a scan-on-demand approach to outsource the huge task of scanning its records library.

In addition, a cleverly designed portal makes the record easy to use with a ‘timeline’ tool showing a patient’s medical journey over time and the treatment given - key for chronic disease management given patients see more than one speciality.

Around 282,000 patient files will be scanned which equates to 45 million pages. As outpatient case notes are used – on average – 2½ times a year, once a person’s file is scanned, the notes are available digitally for subsequent visits.

In close partnership with CCube Solutions, the project was driven by the Trust’s informatics department, under the leadership of Ward Priestman, informatics director, and Professor Mike Pearson, who led a clinical advisory team. The solution cost £1.5 million.

While the primary driver behind the project was patient safety and care, operational costs will be substantially reduced with the Trust expecting to save of £1 million annually by closing its traditional paper library, reducing staff and avoiding the transportation costs associated with moving 4,200 patient files every day around the organisation.

Aintree has also gained 30% additional space [a whole floor] in a new £45 million building which is now used for clinical activities not paper storage - a £13.5 million estate benefit.

The project took 15 months and was completed on budget and to acceptable timescales.

Ward Priestman, Aintree’s director of Informatics, says, ”We’re delighted to be commended. This type of project is risky, difficult, and we went out on a limb to do it. We didn’t just buy off-the shelf software, but created the solution in partnership with our IT suppliers such that we are at the vanguard of using this technology in the NHS. It means we are one of the first Trusts in the country to truly get legacy records management right – forms recognition, timeline view, and quick access to information to deliver a streamlined and modern solution which clinicians accept and like.”

David Clarke, MBE, Group Chief Executive Officer of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said, “On behalf of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, I would like to congratulate all the winners, those who were highly commended and those who were finalists. Our awards celebrate the professionalism and innovation that exists in the IT profession and demonstrates the extent to which IT is the enabler in so many businesses in the UK today. To qualify as a finalist is tremendous - to win one of our prestigious awards is a fantastic achievement.”

This is the third time this year the project has been recognised as being innovative. Aintree University Hospital NHS Trust won ‘Gold project of the year’ at Document Manager (DM) magazine’s annual awards scheme, and was shortlisted in the enterprise project of the year category at the Techworld Awards 2012, run by international publisher, IDG.