Improving GP Services with Digital Records
The NHS is in crisis at the moment, described by many medical professionals as ‘at breaking point.’ The latest disaster is a series of strikes, held by junior doctors in a row over new contracts, weekend working and pay. This comes after surveys highlighting public dissatisfaction with NHS services, and countless A&E waiting time targets missed.
Hospitals and GP services are under increasing pressure, and with the government looking to introduce a 7 day NHS in the near future, the whole system is about to change. Ministers say that people need access to GPs at weekends as well as in the week – but is it viable? With many GPs planning to quit the profession or retire in the next few years, the NHS may find themselves in a recruitment crisis, without enough doctors for the amount of patients.
Another reform which is currently under way is the paperless NHS initiative – services must become digital by 2018. Many NHS organisations have already made the switch and recorded multiple benefits to patients and staff. Recently an extra £4billion of funding was set aside in a new push for a paperless and digital health service.
Going digital is estimated to save the NHS £4billion per year – a figure which surely has the potential to be spent elsewhere and improve services. As part of the move to paperless operations and a plan to increase remote services, the NHS is planning to:
- Allow patients to access health records online
- Introduce remote monitoring so patients can be treated at home rather than in hospital
- Make sure digital medical records are used rather that paper files in GP surgeries and hospitals
- Create new online services and apps. This will provide extra patient support and allow them to book services and order prescriptions online. Patients will also be able speak to doctors via a video link.
- Free Wi-Fi in NHS buildings
Medical Record Scanning
Switching millions of paper medical records over to digital records won’t be an easy task – but it is achievable with a professional scanning service. At Pearl Scan, all records are scanned by fast hi-tech scanning equipment, and instantly transferred into OCR digital files. The digital medical records can then be searched using the document storage and retrieval software. Staff can search using a patient name, date of birth, date of last appointment, patient number or consultant name.
The medical record scanning process is efficient and confidential. The qualified team at Pearl Scan have worked with numerous public and private health organisations to improve their document management, and all services are quality assessed by national boards. The company also complies with Data Protection 1998 regulations.
A GP is usually the first point of call when someone is feeling ill. They can identify serious illnesses and recommend other professional services if needed. This is why it’s essential that GP services are effective and help patients as much as possible – and going digital is one step in the right direction.