All NHS boards in Scotland are to use Version One’s document management and imaging software, as part of a drive to achieve shared services throughout NHSScotland, with the aim of achieving £3m annual savings.
Systems are being implemented in five consortia groups covering all 22 NHS boards, which will integrate Version One’s software into existing COA Solutions accounting systems.
Once implementation is completed, anticipated by March 2009, the health boards will be able to electronically create, deliver and store all their financial documents.
Version One’s automated invoice processing system, DbCapture, will also enable manual data entry of invoices to be reduced by up to 80%, significantly improving process efficiency.
John Francis, programme director of the shared support services programme, run by NHS National Services Scotland, told E-Health Insider: “As part of our shift to shared services, we are looking to use technology as a key enabler to bringing communities together.”
He said most of Scotland’s health boards don’t yet use document management systems and tend to manually store and process finance documents.
Two consortia groups have already gone live with the system and Francis says they have already seen cost and time savings of £2.9m. NHS National Services Scotland estimate a further £3.5m saving will be achieved when the remaining three consortia’s go-live and eventually the shared process could lead to the key target saving of £10m.
Francis added: “The integrated software will enable Scotland’s NHS hospitals to significantly reduce their paper-use by electronically creating, delivering, retrieving and authorising all their finance documents on-line. This will greatly increase operational flexibility and give us options for how we process transactions in the future.”
Once live, all boards within the consortia will be able to share data they process with each other using common source codes to ensure compatibility between sites. Once migration onto the new Version one system is completed, a review will be carried out to see of it makes sense to move to one single database sharing common data for all trusts in a consortia.
Francis said: “Initial work is going really well and we are quietly confident that within the next year or so we will have everyone migrated and supported centrally, and in the long run, one single database that will facilitate the process.”