NHS digital pens: The 'Total Solution'
Will need special software to read doctors' handwriting
An NHS procurement organisation has tendered for the first framework contract for the supply of digital pen technology, making it available to the wider public sector.
Solent Supplies Team (SST), which provides a procurement service for a group of NHS trusts on the south coast, has said it wants provide a "total digital pen solution" to capture handwritten data notes and forms.
The technology has been used in the health service in recent years, but this is the first framework arrangement, and the tender notice cites several central government departments for which it will be available. In addition, local authorities, police, emergency services and educational establishments will be able to use it.
Celine Machola, senior procurement negotiator for SST, told GGC that a number of NHS organisations outside of its customer base have expressed an interest in the technology and the corresponding forms created by NHS Portsmouth, and that the framework would help to speed up adoption of the technology.
"The framework will allow for greater discounts to all using it from the economies of scale that are generated," she said. "This will allow quicker access to the benefits of up and coming proven technologies that offer a clinical and commercial benefit to organisations. The reducation in time to allow deployment across the country will bring clinical and financial benefits to go towards the £20bn national targets."
She said that some of SST's member organisations are already using the technology. The tender covers the pens, compatible smartphones, software, printers and accessories such as charging units and spare lids.
"The technology is currently being used in midwifery at Portsmouth Hospitals, which has proven to be a great success, is being piloted in the emergency department and paediatrics are looking to trial it too. If these two pilots conclude the same as the midwifery project, then the trust would look to adopt this technology across the organisation if it continues to provide clinical and financial benefits.
"Other trusts for which SST procures have shown an interest in the technology, hence the development of a framework for use by those, the NHS and beyond."
The contract is due to run for four years, and there is no estimate on its value.
This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.
Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.
Tuesday morning eyes
Must be the reason I originally read that as Soylent Supplies Team...
(Those aren't swords, they're steak knives.)
handwriting via digtal pens
the solutions are carefully designed
handwriting recognition don't get me wrong can be tricky, but when i design the maternity notes we use a large amount off tick boxes, combed boxes
questions with yes/no tick boxes, this give you 100 accuracy on the questions, ideal for clinical questions
Combed boxes for NHS number, but when setting it up, you program the box, so it is expecting a number, it know its a "5" not an "S"
free notes fields are tricky, but average about a 92% accuracy, but you are able to edit and verify before entering into clinical systems if needed
you are able to upload, clinical dictionaries, medication terms into the dictionary this all help with the accuracy
its all about managing change
the pen is an ideal solution for the transition to a full electronic patient record, you can't just transfer the staff over to laptops, tablets etc.. it will fail almost immediately
you have to manage the change and take is slow, this is why so many projects within the NHS have failed, to much to quickly.
the pen enables them to still use the paper and with the added benefit of a mobile device, access to email, appointments, information. once they are used to this then phase out the pen .
i am all for the reduction in paper, the NHS has to be largest user of paper in the UK. You cant just give them a full electronic patient system