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Realising the clinical benefits and engaging clinical staff in Electronic Document Management

Dr Mike Fisher Chief Clinical Information Officer & Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust spoke at today’s Electronic Document Management conference on:

•    Engaging Clinicians in electronic document management
•    Identifying and communicating the clinical, patient safety and time saving benefits
•    Patient safety benefits and concerns
•    Eradicating paper: smart stationary, data capture and digital dictation
•    Should clinicians be forced to give up paper even if they don’t want to?
•    Our approach to digitalising all of our 1.7m paper patient records by 2015

Electronic Document Management – Realising the Benefits and Engaging Clinicians

With patient safety on the agenda with renewed force following the depressing revelations of the Francis report, the potential of information technology to improve patient care at all sorts of levels is attracting renewed attention. The potential advantages of electronic health records (EHR) in terms of simple availability and legibility of the patient notes have been well rehearsed and electronic document management systems (EDMS) are seen as key enablers. Before any of these benefits can be realised however, clinicians have to be persuaded to go through the inevitable inconvenience and disruption which accompanies the necessary business change that accompanies such a significant change in culture and work practices.

I believe the only chance of success in this difficult, but nevertheless essential enterprise is by engaging the clinical community and this has got to start right at the beginning of the process. This talk will focus on who we should be talking to and about what. I will give examples of relatively quick wins that can be offered with relatively straightforward systems and how this can be used to get clinicians “on side” quite quickly. I will give examples from our own experience at the Royal Liverpool and also try and give some pointers about what not to do. In addition I will share some of our experiences on how clinicians can be engaged and different mechanisms for engagement that we are trying to use.

While EDMS is potentially a great step forward in the journey to genuine clinical benefits, the potential of electronic health records goes far beyond this in terms of allowing point of care delivery of decision support, automatic implementation of care pathways and protocols, clinical analytics for early warning of impending deterioration and automatic abstraction of information for audit and research. All of these more advanced functions offer tremendous potential for delivering improvements in healthcare quality and efficiency but if they are going to be realised, a strategy has to be developed which does not stop at EDMS, but makes electronic document management just one part of a bigger picture. I will end by talking about these additional benefits and the sorts of things that need to be done if they are going to come to pass.

Dr Fisher’s full presentation is available for download at the end of this page

Mike Fisher is a full time interventional cardiologist in Liverpool but also has a lively interest in computing in general and medical IT in particular. This started a very long time ago at school working on PDP minicomputers and ICL mainframes (ask somebody old!) and developed into jobs with ICL and the post office as a programmer, operator and database administrator and developer. He has active interests and responsibilities in research and audit, which both complement the interest in informatics. He still runs a small medical IT firm which writes software and is the trust’s CCIO and clinical safety officer.

Future events of interest:

Data Quality and Clinical Coding for Improvement
Friday 17 October 2014 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Electronic Prescribing In Hospitals: Moving Forward
Tuesday 2 December 2014 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Digital Data Capture: Capturing Clinical Data in a Paperless NHS
Wednesday 21 January 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Download: Dr Mike Fisher full presentation

1 October 2014


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