Computing error in the UK healthcare system highlights need for visibility | HCLTech

Computing error in the UK healthcare system highlights need for visibility

A hospital trust in the UK failed to send out 24,000 letters to patients and GPs after they were lost in a new computer system
3 minutes read
Jaydeep Saha
Jaydeep Saha
Global Reporter, HCLTech
3 minutes read
Computing error in the UK healthcare system highlights need for visibility

Paperwork and documentation have always been one of the leading problems in the life sciences and healthcare (LSH) industry.

In the latest incident, reported by the BBC, the Newcastle Hospitals trust failed to send out 24,000 letters from doctors to patients, meaning some crucial tests and results may have been missed by patients.

The letters required sign-off from senior doctors but were placed in a folder in the new computer system that few knew about. The problem is significant and has been occurring since 2018.

Complaining it was slow and hard to use, a Newcastle Hospitals source told the BBC that consultants had raised issues about the electronic patient record system for years, but it fell on deaf ears.

The negligence came to light after a routine inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June and July and subsequent concerns were raised by hospital employees. Delays in sending out correspondence triggered a subsequent review of the trust's consultants, and it was revealed that most had unsent letters in their electronic records.

CQC’s interim director of operations in the North, Sarah Dronsfield, told the BBC: “We took immediate action to request further detail from the trust to understand the extent to which people may be at risk, and evidence of the steps being taken to review the impact on patients, ensure people are safe and mitigate any risk of avoidable delays in treatment going forward.”

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Optimizing EMR systems for visibility and cost effectiveness

With the right transformation and training, this significant problem could have been avoided, with a range of other benefits.

For example, HCLTech worked with a US-based healthcare organization, serving nearly 650,000 patients annually, to transform its Electronic Medical Records (EMR) strategy. The organization wanted to save costs and simplify by bringing multiple EMR solutions under one umbrella, freeing up talent for better output elsewhere. HCLTech’s ‘One EMR’ system infrastructure is now delivering improved agility, real-time data transfer and interoperability. All hospitals in the hospitals’ network are now integrated under a single model.

In addition, HCLTech’s cloud and healthcare experts are now building a healthcare platform aimed to leverage healthcare claims where the processing time will be reduced from five days to 10 seconds. Among the top features of this platform are healthcare data interface engine, AI/ML coding engine, native fast healthcare interoperability resources repository, business rules engine, API-based digital claims submission, analytics dashboard, cloud infrastructure and healthcare data protection toolkit.

Life Sciences and Healthcare
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