A busy London GUM clinic network has taken the first steps to becoming completely paperless by installing a web browser-based electronic patient booking and admissions systems.

Barts Hospital and the London NHS Trust’s GUM and HIV clinics have installed preView SHe (Sexual Health), a specialist system manufactured by Sysmed. It operates over a secure web connection, and uses Microsoft technologies and open standards. The system also conforms to the requirements of NPfIT.

Kevin Jones, ICT Manager for Medical and Emergency at Barts and The London NHS Trust, said: “We aim to become the first GUM and HIV clinic network in the country to go completely paperless. This will be particularly useful for the many outreach clinics and related disciplines that will gain secure and ready access to shared patient information for the first time."

“With over 65,000 attendances per year, we capture a significant amount of GUM and HIV related information that must be kept totally confidential, so we cannot afford to have an unreliable system."

The London NHS Trust plans to eventually electronically house all patient records so that they can be managed from a central database and accessed from outreach clinics across the capital.  

“The ultimate aim of our programme is the development of a single repository for the management, treatment and efficient care of patients, ensuring that all relevant information is available to multi-disciplinary staff in multiple locations,” said Kevin Jones. "This will provide improved decision support and improved efficiency of operation in line with the aims of the National Strategy for Sexual Health and HIV.”

The new software also features reporting functionality for managing budgets, a feature that the clinics say is very useful due to the high cost of many HIV drugs.