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The 5-step journey to a paperless hospital

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Digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a process, and one that’s dependent on having a clear strategy in place. Paper records have played a leading role across all levels of the NHS for decades, so removing them entirely from circulation is a complex and gradual task that must be approached carefully.

To help shine light on the subject, we explore our own tried-and-tested deployment strategy and highlight crucial stages in the journey towards becoming a paperless hospital. 

Step one: explore

When it comes to effectively implementing digital transformation, it’s not a cliche – knowledge truly is power. Exploring is, therefore, the first step to take. Having a clear understanding of the solutions in place is essential to their effective use, so providers should prioritise this as part of their service. At Mizaic, we’re keen to share all that we know, working closely alongside our clients to support the early fact-finding stages of their research into electronic document management solutions (EDMS) to ascertain the Trust’s requirements.

As part of this crucial exploratory research phase, we oversee a digital maturity evaluation to establish a Trust’s EDMS readiness. This information then informs a deployment plan, which includes a detailed economic study and scanning strategy. 

From exploring system integration and familiarising ourselves with a Trust’s patient administration system (PAS) to clarifying resource requirements, assigning workstreams and more — we see this exploratory phase as the foundation of all successful projects. 

Step two: align

In the journey towards paperless, people are as important a consideration as the technology being rolled out. It’s essential to make sure the functionality, potential and limitations of a solution are understood by all, regardless of people’s EDMS knowledge to date. This is why we schedule a vital kick-off meeting at the sales handover, which takes place in jargon-free language to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

This is a key step of the digital transformation journey, as it facilitates the essential relationships needed for a smooth project delivery, while providing the opportunity to define project deliverables and milestones, anticipate possible challenges and brief all stakeholders on how this project will impact them. 

Step three: transform

Implementing the technology itself is an obvious – but critical – step in the digital transformation journey towards becoming a paperless hospital. 

From assigning a site reliability engineer (SRE) and securing the best scanning partner to project mapping and providing one to one training sessions for clinicians using the EDMS, we can help with both the technical and practical challenges associated with the removal of paper records.

This is arguably one of the most important steps of the process, as it clearly marks the point at which paper is brought out of circulation. This needs to be done with minimal disruption to the quality of care provided by a Trust, so having the necessary infrastructure and support in place is crucial. 

Step four: adapt

The journey towards becoming a paperless hospital is complex, so it’s unrealistic to assume all digital transformation tools will be ‘perfect’. It can take time for Trusts to adjust and become familiar with new processes and technology — and this step is where hospitals can truly begin to see the concept of digitisation in practice. As such, it’s typically where more support is needed — offering an opportunity for glitches or problems to be ironed out through the reassurance, guidance and additional configuration of the provider.

At Mizaic, we strive to anticipate challenges every step of the way, but if something isn’t working, we’ll happily look for alternatives or provide more training, if necessary. 

Step five: review

How can Trust’s claim to have achieved a successful digital transformation project outcome if it hasn’t been measured?

Reviewing the project is the fifth and final stage of the paperless journey. At Mizaic, we’re invested in each and every one of our customers’ projects and monitor Trusts’ use of MediViewer from afar — even after going live. 

This is why we hold a more structured post-implementation review on-site, spending time with the hospital’s product owner and other stakeholders to discuss their experiences to date and provide further support where needed.

Get in touch

Find out more about how we work with Trusts. Alternatively, to talk through your EDMS requirements or discuss your current NHS project, contact our team.

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