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Belfast invests in digital to streamline tracking of health records

The UK’s largest integrated Health and Social Care Trust is to implement a new healthcare logistics management solution, enabling faster tracking of patient records that emanate from various hospital sites across Belfast.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) will rollout Idox Health’s iFIT™ solution to support the effective management of medical records stored in its main libraries, helping the Trust optimise service processes and ensure a high-standard of care to its patients.

The Health Records department provides a vital service that is pivotal to the Trust’s overall operations, including the filing and preparation of notes for clinics and admissions for adults and children. The transition to iFIT™ will replace current tracking systems, making it significantly easier for hospital staff to manage the growing number of records and ensure documentation is instantly retrievable at all times, while simultaneously safeguarding patient safety.

The rollout of iFIT™ will also help the Trust to use the new health records library at its Royal Victoria site to maximum capacity, which will house up to 250,000 records – of which, 180,000 are active. This is possible due the solution’s Location Based Filing functionality, which has the capability of releasing a further 20% of library space by eliminating the need for sequencing, and allowing previously reserved filing space to be made immediately available. 

A spokesperson for Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: “With the multiple challenges our Trust now faces, maintaining service during a period of increased demand whilst at the same time saving money is a delicate balance.  The introduction of iFIT helps meet both these challenges and it frees up capacity for other uses and acts as a platform for further projects.”

The system – deployed at the Trust’s Royal Victoria Hospital – involves the attachment of Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to patient health records, with each one carrying a unique case note number. RFID readers installed at key entry and exit points around the hospital will electronically scan tagged notes as they pass the sensor locations. This automated tracking network is further supported by mobile devices, enabling hospital staff to rapidly detect specific items from a range of over 13 feet.

All shelves in the Trust’s medical records libraries will be assigned Global Location Number (GLN) codes providing GS1 standard compliance, meaning any file can be tracked to any shelf, improving filing efficiency by 80% and driving significant tracking and auditing productivity savings.

Fully integrated with the Trust’s Patient Administration System, Clinicom, BHSCT will achieve an improvement in information accuracy through iFIT's suite of reports, specifically designed to manage operational processes, temporary note creation and data quality information.

Karen Gorman, Head of Sales at Idox Health said: “iFIT will have a huge impact on the way Health Records operate at this Trust, while also providing the basis for GS1 compliance.  Having signed a second Trust in Northern Ireland, Idox Health are now becoming a major supplier to the region.”

The infrastructure implemented by Idox Health provides future opportunities for BHSCT to track other critical hospital assets, such as medical devices, drugs, clinical implants and even people. The solution also has the ability to integrate seamlessly with other ICT developments, paving the way towards an Electronic Health Records strategy and providing the Trust with the flexibility it needs to accommodate longer-term strategic objectives.

For further information on Idox Health’s iFIT solution, please visit the product’s dedicated pages.

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