Where did I put that...medical record?

David Walliker
Jon Atkin

It’s human nature to misplace things, even valuable things, such as your keys or phone. Fortunately, the impact is usually minimal, where only a few people feel the pain of the missing item.

Now consider the impact that could occur with clinicians who are frequently reliant on a single copy of a medical record, as happens in many paper-based offices and hospitals.  The impact of losing that record could ripple out, from the specific patient, to the insurer, to the industry, limiting the ability to improve diagnosis and treatments as a whole.

This is just one of the reasons that organisations like Liverpool Women's Hospital (LWH) are choosing to invest in a new Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), utilising the innovative Unity solution from Fortrus ‒ and Documentum from EMC.

As David Walliker, Chief Information Officer at the hospital, explained, “The driving force for LWH was not only to reduce the daily costs associated with managing our medical records, while ensuring compliance with regulatory guidelines, but also to enable the ability to view a record at any place or point removing the reliance on a single copy, as happens with paper.”

The EDMS is used to create a fully electronic version of a patient’s records by replacing the paper version with a scanned digital image of the original document, which can be accessed from anywhere across the hospital network at any time. These records can only be viewed by authorised staff who have been given the rights to view the records as part of a patient’s care delivery.

The Unity + Documentum solution is helping LWH address multiple challenges. The Trust needed a solution to manage their medical records and to conform to the government standards for medical records as set by the 2015 targets. The government initiative, Integrated Digital Care Record (IDCR), applies to all NHS Trusts, meaning that the Trust needed a vision that would enable them to reach ‒ and exceed ‒the requirements laid out within it.

The Unity solution will be used to display the patient record within a new Clinical Portal, which will replace the traditional patient record. It will display not only the paper record electronically, but also any other information held about patient care on other specialist systems, such as x-rays, ultrasound and blood results.

Now, staff delivering care can have a single view of all the information about the patient, and can be viewed via a desktop or mobile device. They can also quickly view data by attendance, document type, date or specialty. This allows clinicians to find information far more efficiently and effectively, instead of having to scan through paper case notes and electronic systems to gather all the relevant information about the care received.

Benefits that we can all understand, and clinicians and the medical records library staff appreciate.

“The selection of the ‘Unity’ solution was heavily weighted on the acceptance it gained, based on the overall solution user experience, from the 53 clinicians that participated in the project,” concluded  LWH’s David Walliker.

And with the efficiencies gained, clinic-side staff have more time available to spend with patients....helping address their ailments...and find their keys.

Have you experiences of using an EDMS in a healthcare setting that you’d like to share? Or tips of your own on keeping data safe? We’d love to hear!

Jon Atkin is Chief Commercial Officer at Fortrus.



DELL EMC is a global leader in enabling healthcare providers and healthcare service providers to transform their operations.

DELL EMC provides healthcare organizations with an integrated view of electronic patient information beyond medical records and images to include audio, email, digital photos and videos. This complete electronic patient information enables organisation to analyse and collaborate for improved clinical and financial efficiencies.

DELL EMC’s solutions deliver a complete patient-centric view of information beyond the electronic patient record - regardless of source, location or format across the continuum of care. Whether transitioning to or looking to achieve the full value of your EPR, DELL EMC Integrated Patient Record solutions enhance existing patient information by aggregating, sharing and optiming patient information from any health information application or content format.