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St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service launches new service to digitise Lloyd George patient records for NHS general practitioners

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  • Clinical Commissioning Groups, Halton, Knowsley and St Helens, adopt the new service for 85 constituent GP surgeries

  • Runcorn GP, Grove House Practice, the first to use e-LGS in the UK

April 4, 2013 – St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service (StHK HIS) today announces the launch of e-LGS (Electronic Lloyd George Records Service), a new fully managed service to digitise, archive and host Lloyd George patient records held by all general practitioners (GPs) in their surgeries.

Designed to free up space, improve practice efficiency, make patient information instantly available when required, remove risk, and save GPs money on administration, e-LGS offers substantial benefits and is the first computerised service of its kind in the NHS.

The fully managed end-to-end e-LGS solution comprises project management, Lloyd George records collection by NHS employed drivers, notes scanning, secure data hosting, training and support, software licenses, regular record updates, with the entire content of the Lloyd George envelope then made available electronically for GPs and practice staff to view online using a custom developed portal.

The portal digitally replicates the contents of the paper record and is split into four main chapters: patient correspondence (letters), continuation cards, results and summary reports.

Neil Darvill, Director of Informatics at StHK HIS explains, “Based on our experience and success digitising records in secondary care, we’re now extending this with e-LGS to offer GPs nationwide a service to remove the Lloyd George notes headache they universally face. The service is targeted, cost effective and easy to deploy, managed within the NHS by our Informatics staff with patient data stored in our secure data centres.”

The benefits of using e-LGS for GPs and practice managers

The e-LGS solution delivers considerable return-on-investment:

  • Frees up premium surgery space currently used for file storage which can be better utilised given the specific needs of individual practices. This is crucial as the role of GPs broadens in the NHS. For example, space could be repurposed as an additional consulting room or for registrar training, better administration facilities or a larger reception area created for patients; all focused towards offering further improvements in patient care;

  • Provides fast access to historical patient information for GPs and practice staff when responding to requests for information from insurers, solicitors and other officials, ensuring the right information can be accessed by the right person at the right time. Patient records are available at the touch of a button and can be saved to encrypted disc for easy and secure distribution to third parties. This means clerical staff avoid having to search and retrieve records, sort through dusty and crumpled files, and laboriously photocopy sections.

  • Frees practice staff to focus more time on making further improvements to patient care;

  • Saves money on external storage;

  • Removes the risk of paper in files being misplaced or lost;

  • Removes the risk of damage to patient records by damp or fire;

  • Removes the health & safety risk of paper clutter and storage for practice staff, as well as improving their working environment;

  • Allows the reorganisation of administrative processes to improve practice efficiency;

  • Provides multiple user access to Lloyd George records content within practices;

  • Captures patient information in perpetuity in contrast to paper which deteriorates over time; 

  • Allows easier sharing of patient information within the broader NHS should individuals leave a practice;

  • Service availability is guaranteed to ensure patient information is accessible when required. Key performance indicators (service level agreements) set this out contractually.

Hosted e-LGS easy for GPs to access, with records quality guaranteed

Designed to be intuitive and simple-to-use, authorised GPs and practice managers access e-LGS using a standard Internet browser on their normal desktop PCs or laptops with broadband connectivity provided by the NHS National Network (N3) or via Community of Interest Networks (COIN).

Once the content of the Lloyd George records are scanned, the paperwork is securely destroyed with only the original envelope retained, and returned to the GP Practice.

Neil Darvill adds, “We guarantee the quality of scanned records will be the same if not better than paper, with a lead GP or designated member of staff asked to approve a percentage of the records scanned for quality assurance purposes prior to disposal – a process we have legal authority to do. A Certificate of Destruction is then provided from a waste disposal firm authorised to shred confidential information.”

The e-LGS solution is available to all GP practices in the UK and was created through a partnership between the StHK HIS and electronic document management software (EDMS) vendor, CCube Solutions, based on a track record of tremendous success.

StHK HIS is a pioneering organisation in medical records management employing a team of 75 staff in its scanning bureau. In 2010, it was the first in the country to install an EDMS solution so that Whiston and St Helens hospitals could stop using paper health records in clinical practice – an award-winning project also completed in close collaboration with CCube Solutions, along with Kodak who provided the scanner hardware.

Clinical Commissioning Groups and GPs are already embracing the e-LGS opportunity

Grove House Practice, a surgery in Runcorn, Cheshire, has already gone live with e-LGS and is reaping the benefits of the new service by digitising its whole Lloyd George library comprising 13,000 legacy patient records.

In addition, e-LGS has recently being selected by three Clinical Commissioning Groups – Halton CCG, Knowsley CCG and St Helens CCG – who between them support 85 GP practices and almost 500,000 patients. Lloyd George records scanning will take a year to fully roll out and involves digitising approximately 28 million pages.

Paul Brickwood, Chief Finance Officer, Halton, Knowsley & St Helens CCGs, says, “e-LGS is one of those solutions which is so compelling it’s tough to ignore. With the NHS tasked to be ever more efficient, e-LGS means we can quickly cut out paper and all the issues this involves while providing a tool for clinicians and practice staff to improve productivity, save money, use space more effectively and focus on what really ultimately counts which is patient care and service and safety.”

Deploying e-LGS, IT requirements and pricing

With the service now available nationwide, e-LGS is affordable and easy to deploy for GP surgeries with full training and support provided. The e-LGS solution is compatible with Microsoft Windows and only requires standard PCs with at least one DVD-RW drive available.

To start the service, all that practice staff have to provide StHK HIS is a full list of patient files being sent including demographic detail such as name, address and NHS number, and boxed patient records logically filed by either name or number.

With five concurrent licenses provided as standard, the fully managed service costs 60p per Lloyd George envelope per year, (regardless of number of documents in an envelope), over a minimum five-year contractual period. Discounts are available for volume. New patients coming into a practice will also be added to the system at agreed regular intervals, meaning less and less paper records held in GP Practices.
 
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About St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service
Founded in 2000, St Helens & Knowsley Health Informatics Service (StHK HIS) is a unique shared service delivering IT solutions and support for every type of NHS organisation from commissioners to provider services, primary, secondary and tertiary care, along with mental health.

The fundamental components of StHK HIS are built on an industry standard ICT infrastructure, robust information systems and business processes, expert in-house staff, and a culture of delivery to ensure strategy and innovation meets clinical and business needs. StHK HIS provides informatics services to six key organisations, encompassing 14,000 users located at 155 sites.

For further information about e-LGS, please visit www.e-lgs.sthk.nhs.uk or call 0151 478 7999.

For further information, please contact
Tom Herbst
Tom Herbst PR
T:07768 145571
Email: tom@tomherbstpr.co.uk