London, UK – January 30th, 2012 – Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust has become the latest major healthcare organisation to commit to a substantial records digitisation project with Kainos. The Trust, which awarded the 5-year contract in October will deploy Evolve® 3, Kainos’s next-generation electronic medical record (EMR) solution.
The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust comprises a 600-bed large district General Hospital on the Countess of Chester Health Park, and a 64-bed Intermediate Care Service at Ellesmere Port Hospital. The Trust employs 3500 staff and provides a range of medical services to more than 445,000 patients each year from across Western Cheshire, Ellesmere Port, Neston and North Wales. Its medical records library contains half a million sets of case notes.
Initially, the Trust will draw on Kainos’s expertise in scanning to convert all live patient case notes into digitised form, before later developing the way Evolve will be used by clinicians to deliver more efficient and safer patient care in a user-friendly fashion that delivers real value and efficiencies to clinicians.
Describing the initiative as “one of the biggest projects the Trust is looking to implement over the next two years”, Rob Howorth, Assistant Director of Information Services at the Trust, said Kainos quickly emerged as the clear favourite in the European tender process which began in February 2011, an instinct that was confirmed following a detailed reference visit to one of Kainos’s established healthcare customers, the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust.
“All of the staff across a range of disciplines have been tremendously impressed with the professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm shown by Kainos throughout the tender process, and now that we are a client,” Rob says.
The Trust’s aim is to embrace a ‘paper-light’ environment, achieving on-going savings of £1 million a year. Expected benefits include the elimination of manual collection and distribution of case notes by administrators, and the time savings and improvements to patient care made possible once clinicians have instant access to accurate, up-to-date case notes at the point of need, irrespective of who else may be viewing the documents at the same time. Says Rob, “Even though our access to patient records is already very good – typically within four hours of an emergency patient being admitted– in future this will be instantaneous.”
In a second phase of the project, the Trust will exploit Evolve’s workflow management capabilities, allowing clinicians to seek advice and refer patients, for example, with links to particular pages in their case notes. “Evolve’s flexibility is excellent,” Rob says. “With the eForms capability, our existing case notes won’t need to be a dead repository; we can turn them into live documents that we can search in detail, and add to over time. This will be of significant benefit to us.”
That Kainos is able to provide a comprehensive support service, from a full scanning service to consultancy and implementation of the Evolve software, was the final clincher to the deal. “We want to get this right first time, so it is great that we have also been able to buy Kainos’s expertise and experience in scanning,” Rob concludes. “I know that this is going to be a very successful partnership.”