North Bristol NHS Trust has picked CCube Solutions’ electronic document management system to replace a warehouse of 1.2 million paper records.

The acute trust will use the system to scan the paper records over two years, with migration starting in April this year. CCube is already being trialled in the trust’s lung cancer and dermatology units.

The move is part of an  expansion of the trust’s electronic patient record, CSC’s Lorenzo, in what is being called a paper-lite strategy.

North Bristol deployed Lorenzo in November 2015, but has continued to rely heavily on paper.

Currently 1.2 million paper folders, are stored in a warehouse offsite. Every day, about 850 files are transported from the warehouse to Southmead Hospital and other trust sites.

“We simply can’t afford to keep generating paper at the pace we are, given the number of patients we see,” Neil Darvill, the trust’s informatics director, said.

To scan the document, the trust has bought two Kodak Alaris scanners, which can process more than 100 pages a minute each. Those scans will then be indexed, and imported onto CCube.

Darvill said not all 1.2 million record will be scanned, just the estimated 223,000 covering active patients. The remaining paper records will be destroyed as the requirement for their retention expires.

“The business case for the EDMS project is predicated on a scan-on-demand model where only the patient notes for people booked to attend clinic will be processed.”

Overall the trust expects the project, which will cost about £960,000, to save £1.3 million over four years. These cost savings are linked to winding down the existing paper-based records library, which is expected to close completely in October, 2018.

In 2014, North Bristol became the first trust in the south of England to pick Lorenzo as part of an open procurement, replacing its existing Cerner Millennium EPR.

Recent board papers show that North Bristol is planning to embark on a new round of renewed IT investment in the next two year, committing to spend £10 million over 2017/18 and 2018/19.

The money is being committed as the trust’s digital contribution to the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

Darvill said Lorenzo currently works as a patient administration system but more functionality would be added. The trust now plans to “customise Lorenzo to its own requirements”, including reducing the use of paper.

“The purpose of the paper-lite project is to look at how we capture clinical information immediately at the point of care rather than writing notes on paper and scanning them afterwards as this clearly defeats the purpose of putting in an EPR.”

The CCube contract with North Bristol is the product of a new framework agreement between the supplier and CSC, which makes the document management software available to CSC’s Lorenzo customers.