Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is using Kainos Evolve and EDM Group to digitise approximately 450m paper records over eight years, as it works towards removing paper case notes from the trust.

The trust has procured the Evolve electronic document management system from Kainos in a deal worth £12.3m, the company’s biggest ever order and what it says is one of the largest electronic patient record projects in the UK.

 The trust is also outsourcing the document scanning to EDM Group using its data capture services.

Christine Walters, the trust’s director of IM&T, told EHI the trust will use the system to start removing paper case notes from its hospitals.

“We were originally four separate hospitals which merged, so we have a large number of case notes, both from prior to the merger and after the merger.”

Walters said the trust has outsourced the scanning work to EDM Group, which will do a “bulk scan” of over 100m images to take the pressure off its libraries.

A programme of regular scanning will take place afterwards, with an eventual goal of scanning 450m images in eight years.

Walters said the trust will develop a range of electronic forms using Evolve.  Clinicians will also have access to an iPad app to access patient records from the bedside.

Walters said the system will improve access to clinical data, streamlining internal processes and delivering significant cost savings.

“A vast amount of time, work and energy is spent just moving case notes around. We went out to find a solution to help us remove paper case notes completely.”

Walters said the trust signed the contract with Kainos and EDM in March, with the infrastructure now in place.

The trust is holding a series of “model clinics” with clinical staff to allow them to become familiar with the software and provide feedback on what they would like the paper case notes to look like when they are scanned into the system.

Walters said the trust is planning to go live with the first pilot for Evolve in January next year, with the first electronic forms set to go live at the end of November.

Nigel Hutchinson, head of Evolve at Kainos, told EHI the contract is “pretty significant” for the company, with the project set to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK.

“Pennine as a trust is one of the largest acute trusts in the UK, and the volumes are large as well, so we’ve got to realise the scale of their ambition.”

Hutchinson said the documents being scanned include about 230,000 active case files consisting of about 115m pages, with another 245m pages from inactive files.

Hutchinson said Pennine is the latest of 21 trusts to have signed contracts for the Evolve system.