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Poole trust targets staff ID card print device integration

Neil Merrett Published 29 November 2016

As work continues to reduce its reliance on paper documents as part of a digital records drive, hospital body also hopes to improve security, efficiency and oversight in its print operations


Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust hopes to work towards integrating staff ID cards with new print devices it introduced earlier this year as part of ongoing work to further overhaul its electronic document management with an eye on security and costs savings.

Building on a £1.25m agreement with Xerox that came into effect in July, the hospital body is seeking to realise up to £200,000 in annual cost savings while working to meet wider NHS aims to create a ‘paper-light’ organisation by 2018.

As part of its first collaboration with the company, the trust has made use of the FollowMe solution that has allowed 3,700 staff across the organisation to manage documents from networked devices on-site. 

According to the trust, 470 printers have been replaced by Xerox multifunctional devices, while “underutilised” printers were removed from its sites to better curb costs.

Peter Baker, commercial services head for Poole hospital, said that the agreement reflected a need to drive cost savings without compromising service quality.

He argued that by streamlining printing, the trust was able to gain a better understanding of output going forward.

“You can’t control what you can’t measure,” said Baker.

In considering the key challenges of trying to realise £200,000 of annual cost savings through the agreement, the trust identified changing internal culture as a significant hurdle.

This was particularly the case around deciding when printing was needed, and whether to opt for single or double-sided documentation or using digital forms instead.

“[Other considerations were] to accept that printers are not necessary in every department/area,” said a spokesperson for the organisation.

“We are keen to work with Xerox to advance the use of technology and electronic data management to achieve further savings over the remainder of the contract, which was not an option we had with our previous service provider,” added the trust.

Among the key technology aims in the NHS in recent years has been to create an entirely paper free healthcare system in the UK via the adoption of health care records and other digital systems.

However, a recent review by University of California Professor Bob Wachter of technology use in the NHS has favoured a wider approach to ensure a high level of digital maturity among trusts, as opposed to aiming for an “unrealistic” target of paperless working by the end of the decade.

The findings reflect the wider views of the National Advisory Group on Health Information Technology in England, formed last year to advise authorities on how to better realise the potential afforded by technology transformation.

Related articles:

Wachter review dismisses “unrealistic” 2020 paperless NHS push

NHS computer review launched amidst £4.2bn paperless push

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