How embracing digitisation is freeing up time and space for The Tutbury Practice

After recently undertaking the digitisation of their Lloyd George patient records, The Tutbury Practice in Staffordshire are embracing the future of paperless working. We spoke to Practice Manager Rachael Brown, and her colleague Caroline Rooney about their experience taking their records digital.

Currently serving around 8000 patients, The Tutbury Practice in Burton-on-Trent has been growing year on year, increasing at an average of around 30 patients per month in recent years. With every new patient comes a legacy Lloyd George patient record, crowding the already full storage rooms dedicated to filing. 

That’s why when Practice Manager Rachael Brown was offered a place in her CCGs digitisation pilot, she jumped at the chance.

“Digitisation is a process that we’ve been wanting to do for years and years and years. We’ve looked into it ourselves but just never had an opportunity to do it, just with the sheer volume of paper we’ve got. So when the CCG approached us and asked if we’d consider being a pilot, it was a no brainer.”

Rachael Brown, Practice Manager, The Tutbury Practice

Preparing for success

Commencing the process in November 2020, Rachael put Caroline as the practice lead for their digitisation process. The methodical work suited Caroline to a tee, and she set about preparing for the task.

“It is a learning process. When you start off you think oh my goodness, I don’t know how I’m going to pack 250 boxes of notes, 8000 patients. But you just do it patient by patient, box by box, and then once you get into it, you’re on it!”

Caroline Rooney, Administration Assistant, The Tutbury Practice

The information booklet provided by EMIS guided Caroline in a clear concise way through all she needed to know about the end to end process, and as she commenced the work she found great support along the way from Katie Zivarts and Zoe Gaunt of the EMIS Deployment team.

“The communication has been fantastic. Whenever I’ve emailed them they’ve emailed me almost straight back with advice – and that was important, being able to speak to someone if I was doing something and I wasn’t sure about it – they were very helpful, and it meant the process wasn’t held up.”

Caroline Rooney, Administration Assistant, The Tutbury Practice

The most crucial tool at Caroline’s disposal was the Master Manifest List. Talking us through the process, she explained how she checked and rechecked this list on a regular basis, commenting “you have to be accurate – and that makes the end bit so much easier.”

Working their way through boxes inevitably created temporary challenges for space as things began to pile up. Contacting the EMIS team half way through, Rachael was able to arrange the collection of some boxes at the mid-point of the process, freeing up space and making it easier to continue with the task at hand.

“That really helped us with our space - they were very good and said yes we’ll come. Restore came when they said they would, the chap who came was lovely – very helpful and knew what he was doing, even when we didn’t sometimes!”

Rachael Brown, Practice Manager, The Tutbury Practice

Realising potential

Now a few months down the line, the practice are seeing their hard work pay off. “It seems so quick from the point that they picked up the remaining boxes to having them live – they’ve been very efficient”, commented Caroline. After a final box collection on the 26 February, they had all records uploaded and live on their EMIS clinical system on 21 April, meaning the practice team could start to embrace this new digital experience.

“It’s just amazing, to have notes on the system – it’s going to save so much time. No more, ‘where is that one’ and ‘it’s been misfiled’ – it’s just all there.”

Rachael Brown, Practice Manager, The Tutbury Practice

The wider team are excited by the potential that digitisation brings to their day to day roles. For the reception and administrative staff, the days of trawling through paper files in a crowded storage room are long gone, and retrieving patient information is at their fingertips. For the GPs, a holistic view of their patient’s health is now collected together in an easily digestible format.

“I’ve shown the doctors what it looks like, and they were very impressed by the standard of the actual scanning. Some of the documents you send are very old and they thought that they wouldn’t scan clear, but it’s actually very good standard of scanning, so they were all very impressed.”

Caroline Rooney, Administration Assistant, The Tutbury Practice

Digitisation is not only enabling more efficient ways of working at the practice, but enhancing security too. 

“It reduces the risk of those notes going elsewhere, or going where they shouldn’t. For security and confidentiality there is no need for those paper notes to go anywhere else now.”

Rachael Brown, Practice Manager, The Tutbury Practice

A paperless future

The team are now turning their attention to the space previously occupied by records, deciding on the best way to repurpose this for their practice. Options include creating a new office, or using the lockable area to store files and stationary from the main office, freeing up more space for the team to work.

Moving forward, with the bulk of the workload complete, the team will continue to digitise any new or outstanding Lloyd George records with the ‘milk round’ service – collecting batches upon request for digitisation – meaning they’re moving closer each day to a paperless practice.

“For any other practice that may have reservations on the process and end result – I would thoroughly recommend it.”

Lloyd George Digitisation

Want to find out more about our digitisation service? Follow the link below.

Lloyd George digitisation

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