General Background

What is EDMS?

An EDMS — or Electronic Document Management Solution — acts as a digital library for billions of pieces of information.

In the case of MediViewer — an EDMS purposefully designed and deployed for the NHS — it supports the digitisation of patients’ physical medical records, enabling hospitals to scan, index, and archive, with ease. It also enables ‘born digital’ documents — which currently reside in disparate clinical silos — to be brought together in one searchable place.

Why is the digital transformation of the NHS so important?

The digital maturity of the NHS has been much debated for years, with the more intelligent use of technology widely recognised for its transformative potential. It has the power to support a truly integrated healthcare delivery, achieve significant resource optimisation and cost savings, and reduce hospitals’ carbon footprint across the country. Importantly, because the NHS is fundamentally a people business, technology can also revolutionise the clinician : patient experience — a mission Mizaic is here to drive forward.

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In June 2022, the Government published its plan for digital health and social care — a programme of reforms through which £2bn of funding is available to move Trusts to Electronic Patient Records (EPR). But EPR systems alone cannot support a truly paperless NHS.

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What’s the difference between an EPR and EDMS?

An Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system provides healthcare professionals and their patients with authorised, real-time access to health information, available in a digital format. Like EDMS technology, EPR exists to enhance care quality, safety, and the patient experience, while achieving highly sought after cost savings and efficiencies.

Yet EPRs typically deal only with structured information, from the point of implementation onwards. As an average EPR will only hold 35% of a patient’s history, they must therefore rely also on the ability to retrieve archived patient case notes, which could exist in multiple unstructured forms, in various locations.

An intuitive EDMS, on the other hand, provides searchable, indexable access to legacy information — structured and unstructured — at the point of care. With the ability to integrate seamlessly with your EPR and other systems, an EDMS also provides best practice governance for the creation and electronic capture of new clinical information — from patient letters to e-form data — moving forwards.

Can EPR and EDMS work together?

The two technologies are definitely complementary, but the important point to note is that while some Trusts will invest in EDMS alone, an EPR cannot function effectively without an EDMS in place. EDMS is therefore a critical platform, enabling a far more cohesive view of the entire patient record. That’s why Mizaic has such an established relationship with EPR vendors and healthcare transformation consultants — because an EDMS is integral to hospitals’ true journey to paperless.

Some EPR systems attempt to store unstructured content, but the inability to search through it soon becomes unmanageable as the volume of information grows. The dream, from a Trust’s point of view, is that when the two technologies integrate, the interoperability is so seamless, that the user does not even notice.

Why are such digital transformation projects stalling?

Of course, challenges and opportunities vary from one Trust to the next, but generally, digital transformation projects stall due to:

  • Difficulties accessing funding.

  • The size of the undertaking and the level of resources required, when the NHS is already under strain.

  • A prolonged lack of understanding regarding exactly what technology is required, and how it can be implemented effectively.

There is therefore a significant risk of inertia, despite the scale of the benefits that could be realised. But that’s why Mizaic exists to provide not just the EDMS application, but also the wrap-around support required throughout every stage of an EDMS implementation project, however complex.

Mizaic removes the risk of EDMS deployment

How we work

Did you know that the average EPR will only hold 35% of a patient’s history?

The benefits of an EDMS for the NHS

Physical patient records pose significant challenges for already-strained hospital settings, which doesn’t just hinder the operational efficiency of Trusts — it can have a direct impact on the quality of healthcare provided, too.

Paper medical records are only available in one place at any given time, valuable real estate is required for storage, such records libraries are expensive to manage, there is a demonstrable lack of security, information sharing to other care providers is difficult, subject access requests are hard to process, and documents are costly to transport.

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EDMS benefits for the Head of Digital Transformation

  • Improve patient data security

  • Simplify your processes and IT estate

  • Reduce unnecessary supply chain complexities.

EDMS benefits for the Head of Medical Records

  • Achieve the efficient, streamlined control of records

  • Mitigate against the risk of cancelled appointments

  • Manage larger — and growing — volumes of patient information, with ease.

EDMS benefits for Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)

  • Free up valuable real estate

  • Achieve multiple cost and efficiency savings

  • Reduce waiting times and improve patient outcomes

  • Empower clinicians with the information they need, when they need it

  • Lower your carbon footprint.

EDMS benefits for Chief Clinical Information Officers (CCIOs)

  • One place for all of your patient information

  • Access must-know data, anywhere, anytime, from any device, in single clicks

  • Unlock the value of patient record content

  • Easily and securely share information across the Trust, for successfully integrated care.

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How do I plan my EDMS implementation?

When we first start talking to NHS Trusts, some have a clear understanding of their digital transformation roadmap. Others know they need to move away from physical medical records, however they’re unclear on the project specifics. Whatever the scenario, it’s our goal to explore the questions you need the answers to, if your EDMS deployment is to work. That’s why we’ll openly discuss everything from your scanning strategy to your business case, and project resources to data destruction.

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