West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust has signed a deal with Kainos to transform more than 40m paper case file pages into electronic documents over the next two years.

The trust will roll out the Evolve electronic document management system across all specialities from December, using a scan on demand strategy that will ensure that patients attending clinics have their case notes electronically available.

According to the trust, the main trigger of the contract award was the increasing amount of patient notes and the storage space that they were taking up.

Danny Collier, IM&T project manager for EDMS, said: “We wanted to use the space for clinical purposes, while improving the patient experience. There are also risks associated with manual record handling for our staff, and with the deterioration of notes of a certain age.”

The trust is one of the first to implement the system, following development work with Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The system is underpinned by infrastructure software provider Autonomy’s records management software.

The scanning will take place in the health records department using a team of 11 designated people who will take up quality assurance, preparation and scanning roles to provide the new service.

The system will enable clinicians to access high quality scanned images of previous episodes of care and view these alongside current episodes, while providing search capability and allowing clinicians to add new notes.

Nick McDonnell, head of IM&T told EHI: “The system will provide improved security of patient data, notes available for clinicians with the ability for patients to attend more than one clinic per hospital visit, significantly reduced stationary cost, savings for existing archive software and hardware cost as well as an improved indexing system.

“The trust staff will have the ability to view patient centric information in Evolve, or link to host system that provides the information.”

The trust says that it remains committed to the National Programme for IT in the NHS and is considering Lorenzo as the future strategic solution. However, it will need to ensure that it is fit for purpose before making any future decision.

Deirdre O’Neill, head of ECM at Kainos, said: “We look forward immensely to driving through this critical EDMS project, which will have a significant impact on patient care and general efficiency at West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust. We are delighted that another major trust has chosen to standardise on Evolve.”