Sandwell and West Birmingham hospitals nhs trust

Customer Success Stories

Patients are the ultimate digital transformation beneficiaries

January 11, 20218 mins
Doctor on laptop

PATIENTS ARE THE ULTIMATE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION BENEFICIARIES

 

TOWARDS A BOLD 2020 VISION

Dedicated to improving the lives of 530,000 local people, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust is renowned for teaching, education, innovation and research for around 7,200 dedicated staff.

The Trust is moving towards its bold 2020 vision with digital transformation and the opening of a new hospital, the Midland Met. Dispensing with costly, labour-intensive paper archives and migrating to electronic patient records would mark the journey’s start.

 

DESIGN

To help de-risk and accelerate the transition, Iron Mountain® was invited to design a solution to digitise all patient information types. That would include legacy data (full medical histories for long-term care plans) and episodic records (case notes for treating emergent needs with clear beginnings and ends).

As it stands, patient documentation is stored at a highly secure, state-of-the-art facility managed by Iron Mountain. A simple retrieval process has replaced previous complexities caused by labour intensive, manual operations. Orders for legacy records are placed online and supplied as digital images within 72 hours. Episodic files are updated and made available 48 hours after the patient’s hospital appointment. This is critical to patients needed in theatre shortly after an appointment.

Liam Kennedy, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, says: “We regard Iron Mountain as a long-term strategic partner. They’re very professional and we knew we could count on them being by our side every step of the way.”

 

MORE POSITIVE PATIENT EXPERIENCES AND OUTCOMES

Around 700,000 patient records have been scanned so far, with Iron Mountain supplying more than 10 million episode and 25 million legacy digital images. The advanced service helps streamline hospital processes.

“WE CREATED OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE THAN 20 STAFF TO RESKILL AND TAKE UP JOBS ON WARDS OR IN CANCER SERVICES, PHYSIOLOGY AND FINANCE. THAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHTS.”

Liam Kennedy

Deputy Chief Operating Officer
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

The Trust’s clear goal from the outset was to improve the overall patient experience. Patients, being the ultimate beneficiaries, receive a much more joined-up management of their data and, as a result, a higher level of transparency and efficiency to their overall care.

Clinicians no longer waste time tracking down files and painstakingly reading through every note. “The Iron Mountain digital service is a huge time and money saver,” says Kennedy. “From consent forms and anaesthetic charts, to vital evidence for mortality audits, our medical teams go straight to the file and the specific section they need.”

Moving to a digital platform has improved the situation for medical staff to link care episodes. Clinicians, healthcare partners and local GPs share the same date-stamped digital images with improved note capture. They can quickly confirm who the patient saw and what was discussed. Subsequently, this not only enhances the quality of patient interactions but also leads to more positive outcomes.

SMARTER USE OF PEOPLE AND SPACE

The Trust has phased out two administrative departments and freed-up floor space, while maintaining its mantra for looking after staff with 100 per cent redeployment success. “We created opportunities for more than 20 staff to reskill and take up jobs on wards or in cancer services, physiology and finance,” says Kennedy. “That was one of the biggest highlights.”

Boosted by the contribution of the Iron Mountain solution the Trust is close to realising its target of saving £250,000, which can be re-directed towards frontline care.

Kennedy concludes: “We’ve made electronic patient records available to all clinicians while releasing funds for future service improvements.” Already planning more digital projects like e-procurement and e-prescribing, due to the joint success in the roll out of Iron Mountain’s platform, the Trust’s innovation journey continues.

“THE IRON MOUNTAIN DIGITAL SERVICE IS A HUGE TIME AND MONEY SAVER. FROM CONSENT FORMS AND ANAESTHETIC CHARTS, TO VITAL EVIDENCE FOR MORTALITY AUDITS, OUR MEDICAL TEAMS GO STRAIGHT TO THE FILE AND THE SPECIFIC SECTION THEY NEED.”

Liam Kennedy
Deputy Chief Operating Officer
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

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