Hull Royal Infirmary Medical Records programme for 40 years of Patient Records in FileVision

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals' NHS Trust, one of the largest in England, provides a comprehensive range of acute services from three hospital sites - Hull Royal Infirmary (pictured), Castle Hill Hospital and Princess Royal Hospital, to almost 600,000 people and over 1.2 million people for their tertiary services.

With an annual budget of circa 300 million and employing approximately 6,700 staff, the trust is committed to the continuous development of services for the benefit of patients and to providing a comprehensive service of the highest possible quality.

Ongoing capital investment programmes are undertaken to ensure that facilities can support the development in patient services. Part of the recent 250m programme of capital investment are two flagship developments: the 6m Hull and East Yorkshire Eye Hospital and the 35m Women and Children's Hospital that have been opened in the last two years. Plans to build a 45m Cardiac and elective surgical facility and 60m Castle Hill Cancer Centre are also well underway. In additional there are around 75 other smaller capital development projects either planned or in progress.

Business Case

With over 40 years of medical records the trust has traditionally stored these paper records in large on-site facilities and retrieved required records on demand. With typical lead times of a couple of days to retrieve patient records, and the high cost of storage lead the trust to find more efficient ways to handle patient records. From the 1960s many patient records were transferred onto microfiche with the objective of improving retrieval time and reducing storage. Even so the trust still had huge volumes of paper records which limited access of medical records to one practitioner who physically held the paper record. The associated tracking and recovering of records from their current locations became a severe headache that impacted administrative efficiency.

With the advent of increased use of computer systems in healthcare sector and the ageing and cumbersome microfiche systems the trust in 2002 embarked on a new project to scan and hold electronic images of all paper medical records.

Solution and Benefits

The trust chose FileVision's Integrated Document Management System to meet the objectives of their very large and far reaching project:

  • scan & store 40 years of paper medical records
  • securely dispose of all paper records
  • remove the high cost of on-site storage
  • improve speed of retrieval of patient records
  • provide secure on-line access within medical records dept
  • provide secure on-line access across the acute hospital
  • provide on-line access to microfiche stored records as well as scanned paper

Initially the trust embarked on the project by setting up 3 sites facilities to start scanning 40 years of medical records using 6 dedicated high speed Canon 6080 and Kodak i260 scanners. To facilitate the indexing of scanned records, patient demographic details are imported from Clinicom patient administration system into FileVision to populate keywords, e.g. NHS no, Hospital no, etc, associated with the medical record. Once a batch of medical records are imported and the data centre backups confirmed then the paper records are then securely destroyed saving storage space and costs.

Although the project's initial focus was digitising and archiving older records with fewer associated retrievals, its success has lead the way into the project's 2nd phase of 'hot' retrieval. FileVision provides the Medical Records' Department not only the means of providing fast retrieval of digitised paper medical records - that are printed and distributed to the wards - but also integrates with the trust's microfiche system to automatically retrieve on-demand microfiche records and store them in FileVision. This provides online access to the old microfiche records and gradually migrates records from microfiche onto the trust's computer servers using FileVision. The difficulties of finding and slow retrieval of medical records with the old systems have now been dramatically solved with the added bonus of on-line records being available for simultaneous viewing by more than one practitioner as required.

"After 5 years of the project", says Mr Martin Whittle, Records Library Manager, "we now have more 1.8 million medical images in 350Gb of storage managed by FileVision. Given the great success of our project and the excellent support from FileVision UK Ltd we are continually expanding our use of FileVision". As the investment and deployment of desktop computers grows throughout the acute facilities of the trust, the Medical Records Department plan to not only allow direct, secure, authorised, on-line access to medical records across all wards but introduce, as appropriate, tailored workflow procedures facilitated by FileVision.

Alongside the original on-going task to capture the remainder of the 40 years of medical records FileVision is planned to expand project by project throughout the acute hospital.

About FileVision

FileVision integrates comprehensive document management, information management, document imaging, workflow management and information relationship management into an affordable, scalable and easy-to-use software solution. Quick to implement, it is designed specifically for small to medium-sized companies or departments within larger organisations who need to find a way to match business processes with business documents. Due to FileVision's flexibility and customisability, customers do not have to change the way they do things. Instead, FileVision is easily configured to an organisation's existing business processes or workflow methods. FileVision is a global company with headquarters in the United States and offices in the UK and Australasia. FileVision's key markets are finance, government and healthcare.

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