A paperless NHS could improve efficiency, but will it be achieved?

By Matthew Thompson | 14th January 2014 | 2 min read

Last year Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt challenged the NHS to go paperless by 2018 in an attempt to save billions, improve services and help meet the challenges of an ageing population. One year on, reports show that board level culture in the NHS could be undermining this ambition.

A Freedom of Information request by Spectralink found that 61% of nurses still use handwritten notes, charts or verbal communication to share vital patient details. These methods increase the risk of human error, which can be fatal when dealing with patients. Making the move from paper to digital records could increase accuracy and therefore increase efficiency.

One main issue raised was that none of the NHS Trusts that took part in the request for information had any systems in place to record the time spent checking and relaying messages each day, meaning that those involved may not fully understand the time saving benefits of a digital service.

A separate study taken by Health Service Journal highlighted the lack of IT knowledge among the board level in the NHS as a key factor which could cause problems for the paperless ambition. Only 29% of the NHS staff in this study thought that the 2018 target was realistic.

With any new form of technology, gaining a proper understanding of the solution and its benefits should always be the first step you take. In doing so, you can establish whether this solution is right for your practice and if so, what benefits you will see from it.

IRIS OpenPayslips is the new digital payslips solution, allowing you to distribute payslips electronically to your employees, greatly reducing the amount of paper you produce. Employees can view their payslips on an online portal via their PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. IRIS OpenPayslips will soon also be able to distribute P60s to your employees electronically.

If you want to see how IRIS OpenPayslips could help your practice contribute to the paperless NHS challenge, why not try the solution today, completely free?

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