Objective: To test
the feasibility of a fully paperless
system, termed “paperlite” in a UK breast screening service. To
demonstrate in NHS practice, how workload and workflow could be improved by
moving to a paperless system and discovering
what impact this has upon the complexity within the service. Setting:
Warwickshire, Solihull and Coventry Breast Screening Service in the West
Midlands of England. Methods: Quality improvement methodologies were employed,
including value stream mapping, task analysis and a time-and-motion study. Results:
The screening centred screened approximately 50,000 women per year. If they
were to implement a paperless system, the
administrative workload would decrease. The time saving per batch of
screens, which could be achieved by moving to the paperless system ranged from
19 to 56 minutes (mean = 36 minutes). When calculated by batch the mean time
saving per woman screened by moving to the paperless system was 42 seconds.
This equates to 583 hours of administrative work per year in a centre screening
50,000 women. Conclusions: The paperless system has many benefits compared to
the original system in terms of reductions in waste, time and cost. The
simplification and standardisation of the process resulted in fewer tasks and
interfaces where errors could occur, hence inadvertently improving patient safety.
The limitation of the work is the heavy reliance on technology, live
interfacing with computer databases and software stability is necessary for a
paperless system to be used in NHS practice.
Cite this paper
Taylor-Phillips, S. , Grove, A. , Hoffmeister, S. , Wheaton, M. , Coult, S. , Essex, J. , Hackney, J. , Cioccio, S. and Clarke, A. (2014) Going “paperless” in an English National Health Service (NHS) breast cancer screening service: The intriduction of fully digital mammography. Health
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