Royal College of Nursing says nurses are overloaded with paperwork

Nurses bogged down by red tape

Published Date: 10 October 2010
By Lyndsay Moss
NURSES in Scotland are “overloaded” with paperwork which is stopping them caring for patients, leaders of the profession have warned. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said evidence suggested administrative tasks take up two-thirds of nurses’ time at work.

Royal College of Nursing logo

In a manifesto ahead of next year’s Scottish elections, the organisation said the situation could get worse with planned cuts in the number of administrative staff in the NHS.

The RCN is calling for an urgent review of paperwork so that nurses can spend more time with patients. It also called for more action to protect and encourage whistleblowers reporting workplace problems, as well as ensuring the most vulnerable groups in society were not hit hardest by public sector cutbacks.

The Scottish Government said it wanted nurses to have as much time as possible to care directly for patients. The RCN said that while some clinical paperwork was necessary, far too much non-essential admin was being done by nurses.

“Nurses of all levels and from all areas of health and social care tell us that they are overloaded with paperwork and administrative tasks,” the document says.

Read the full article HERE

Irish Clinic digitises and archives paper records

Galway Clinic digitises and archives paper records in drive to electronic healthcare record

The Galway Clinic, a 126-bed hospital in the West of Ireland, is implementing a data archiving and management solution from BridgeHead Software to support its drive to create a completely electronic healthcare record.

The state-of-the-art medical facility, which provides acute and secondary care services, plans to use BridgeHead’s BH FileStore archiving software for the long-term storage and retrieval of scanned patient documents. The documents are being digitised using dedicated software from healthcare information systems provider, MEDITECH.

“Our data is growing exponentially as we strive to achieve a totally paperless environment,” said Richard Murdock, network administrator at The Galway Clinic. “And now our data will grow even faster with our current plans to digitise all paper documents relating to patients. So it’s crucial to put in place a cost-effective, long-term data storage and access strategy and BH FileStore’s archiving and retrieval facilities will play an essential role in this.”

Read more about this drive to go paperless here

TRAK system to help nurses monitor community patients in Lothian

AN electronic system is being developed to help health agencies share information on adults receiving community care.

The TRAK community facility will help nurses access more up-to-date files on patients, and allow them to better plan what care is required for them. It is expected the system, which is being used across East Lothian, will be used across the whole health board area by next year.

Evening News (final edition) p.7

NHS Lothian Medical Director supports electronic medical records

Here is a letter from Dr Charles Swainson in the Evening News.

Centralised records improve healthcare
I was dismayed to read Dr John Welford’s letter, “System to blame for record losses, not medical staff” (News, 31 July).

Centralisation and computerisation of medical records have little to do with losing patients’ confidential medical information.

The mass computerisation he mentions refers to the introduction of a modern patient management system in NHS Lothian, TRAK, which is gradually building an electronic medical record for each patient. Currently it contains basic demographic data and contact details, service attended, laboratory and radiology results, and letters. Other key parts of the records, such as operation notes, are held on a computerised surgical database which is looked after by the surgeons.

There are huge advantages to these systems in terms of providing faster, safer healthcare. Each patient may benefit from the expertise of an extensive medical team, all working from different locations. They may be receiving care from a team including their GP, radiologists, oncologists and other health professionals. Hosting these records centrally, in one place, cuts delay and allows every member of the team access to full information on the patient to inform their expert contribution to that person’s care.
Dr Charles Swainson, medical director, NHS Lothian

Link to page

NHS Scotland aims to phase out paper records

NHS facilities in Scotland are currently trialling the use of handheld computers among doctors and nurses.

It is hoped that by distributing information to healthcare professionals electronically, the amount of paper they use will be reduced.

The technology should also allow staff to access and update patient records while they are on the move, thereby freeing up time they would spend using desktop PCs.

Read the rest of this article HERE

Scottish NHS to be first paperless health service in the world

Hospitals roll out hand-held computers giving doctors and nurses instant access to database By Tom Gordon

SCOTLAND IS set to become the first country in the world with an entirely paperless health service, as wireless hand-held computers allow doctors and nurses to check and update patient records wherever they go.

The machines let staff move from bedside to bedside downloading patient histories, test results, and digital x-rays on the electronic equivalent of a clipboard called a mobile clinical assistant (MCA), or toughbook.

Information is delivered through dedicated hospital wi-fi systems, with access to the most sensitive information restricted to senior medical professionals.

To read the rest of this article CLICK HERE