NHS trusts unprepared for paperless deadline

OpenText research reveals nearly half of directors and chief information officers are concerned they will not meet 2020 digital deadline

Nearly half of NHS chief information officers (CIOs) and directors say they are unprepared to meet the Government’s 2020 deadline for a paperless NHS, a new survey has revealed.

The revelation comes after OpenText surveyed respondents from 115 NHS trusts and organisations using iGov Survey about whether they feel ready for 2020.

Nearly half of CIOs and directors - 46% - are concerned over whether they can meet the government deadline in less than four years time, with two-fifths – 39% - of respondents reporting that patient records are not currently digitised within their organisation.

However, the majority of respondents - 78% - acknowledged that digitising patient records would benefit their organisation. Access to data and information from any location, at any time, and on any device - 30% - and the ability to access data and information faster - 31% - were cited as the main benefits.

Take a step back to see the enterprise as a whole - identifying where the paper is, engaging all members of staff at all levels, and thinking about process flows. Only then can better business efficiencies be consistently delivered within the healthcare sector

Furthermore, it is clear that mobile and wearable technology is key to future strategy and unlocking these benefits. 70% of NHS organisations stated there is scope for wearables to be introduced in the coming years, and over half - 55% - plan to increase the use of mobile and/or wearable technology used by staff members.

Yet, despite this, there were several barriers to implementing a ‘paperless environment’ including a lack of suitable technology already within our organisation - 49%; a lack of in-house skills to implement a ‘paperless’ initiative - 56%; and budget restrictions - 75%.

Commenting on the research, Mark Bridger, vice president of sales UK at OpenText, said: “It’s important to note that it’s not too late for organisation to start implementing digital strategies to meet the 2020 deadline, and the Government’s paperless initiative should be seen as just one part of a journey towards fully-digital healthcare provision.

“My advice would be to think about how your organisation is going to manage all this new data created in a digital healthcare system beyond 2020. Take a step back to see the enterprise as a whole - identifying where the paper is, engaging all members of staff at all levels, and thinking about process flows. Only then can better business efficiencies be consistently delivered within the healthcare sector.”