September’s industry round up features news that Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership is looking towards the cloud, while electronic patient record solution PatientSource has announced it has secured its first international contract.

Greater Manchester health and social care partners up with Shaping Cloud

The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC Partnership) is reviewing its IT usage with a view to making efficiency savings through greater use of cloud.

IT specialists Shaping Cloud are undertaking a review which will look into current infrastructure used across the 20 NHS and local government organisations involved in the partnership.

It is hoped the review will identify which software applications are in use across the region and highlight opportunities for more cost-effective procurement practices to reduce duplication.

The asset review, scheduled for completion in spring 2019, will also identify and address the need for organisations to have an information governance compliant asset register, as well as support workforce training and development needs that come with wider use of the cloud.

GMHSC Partnership interim chief digital officer Stephen Dobson said: “Seeing what technology is in use across the public sector should mean the review will pay for itself in procurement efficiencies.

“However, it is the wider benefits of cloud adoption that are more attractive.

“Cloud is coming whether we like it or not. What I want to do is to accelerate the move to the cloud across Greater Manchester.”

Plymouth trust accelerates digital transformation with in-house scanners

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust (UHPNT) has used in-house scanners to help create a digital health record.

The trust decided to digitise records in-house and set up an in-house scanning bureau equipped with Alaris production scanners and Alaris capture pro software.

When the project went live, the bureau scanned live patients’ notes, firstly within the paediatrics speciality and then moving on to digitise hepatology patients’ records.

Health records manager Vanessa Bennett said enabling clinicians to have instant access to a record, and for those records to be available in more than one place at one time, were key benefits.

“They [healthcare professionals] really like the ability to access the patient notes when they see the patient instead of having to think ahead and request the notes out of the records library.

“Another benefit is that once digitised, the patient record can be seen by any other speciality, so whilst the project has to date been centred on paediatrics and hepatology, if a patient in either of those specialities is referred to another department, we will digitise those notes as well.”

East Lancashire Hospitals Trust cuts letter costs in half with digital launch

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has introduced a digital letter portal from HealthCare Communications which is said to have cut the cost of appointment letters by 51%.

44% of patients are now choosing to receive their appointment letter digitally. The portal sends a secure digital invite for the patient to view appointment letters, pre-assessments and supporting information on their smartphone, tablet or desktop.

Patients can then click to immediately confirm, cancel or rebook their appointment, as well as adding the appointment in their digital calendar, and accessing real-time travel maps.

They can also save the letter or print it and access text-to-speech functionality and 99 language translation options.

Sue Elliston, directorate manager of centralised outpatients and administration services for the trust, said: “The patient portal is proving successful in a number of ways. It improves patient experience as it allows them to interact and have information about their appointment at their fingertips.

“It’s also allowing our communications to be responsive to the needs of our patients – for example – allowing instant translation into the patient’s preferred language or converting the text to speech.

“There are benefits to the trust as well by delivering a direct cost saving when compared to the postage charge and reducing admin time involved in traditional letters, thus making our processes much more efficient.”

PatientSource announces new signing with Saint Helena Island

British electronic patient record solution PatientSource has secured its first international contract.

The medical record platform is due to go live on Saint Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean island on 5 November. The system will bring all primary and secondary care data together into one place.

Akeem Ali, director of health in St Helena, said: “PatientSource as a platform is an excellent fit for our needs and promises a fantastic stepping stone to managing population health data and interventions on the island.

“The simplicity of the system is the clincher for both clinical and administrative staff.”

Medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company receives UK certification

Medical imaging IT and cybersecurity company Sectra has received Cyber Essentials certification.

The UK government-backed Cyber Essentials Scheme aims to help organisations protect against cyberattack, and to demonstrate a commitment to cybersecurity.

To gain certification, organisations much prove compliance with cybersecurity requirements for national procurements in the UK.

Jane Rendall, managing director of Sectra Ltd, said the certification from the UK government’s National Cyber Security Centre showed the company has “robust information security and cybersecurity policies and processes in place”.