August 9, 2011 2.34 pm This story is over 151 months old

Digital pens to speed up city hospital admin

Constructive: A special pen is helping staff save time filling in patient paperwork.

Lincoln County Hospital will use new technology to improve administration tasks, if county trials are successful.

Pilgrim Hospital in Boston is currently trialling the Digital Pen, a piece of equipment which can convert handwriting on special forms into computer text automatically.

If the trial is completely successful, Lincoln County Hospital will be next to receive the digital pens, once more pens are delivered.

The pen has been created in order to save time and improve patient data collection.

The hospital decided to trial the technology in its Therapy departments as it felt data entry was taking up too much of staff time, causing backlogs.

So far, the digital pens have saved staff an average of two minutes per patient per month. If rolled out to the entire service, holding around 5,000 patients, and average time of 167 hours per month could be saved.

The time saved will be reinvested elsewhere, so clinical staff do not have to do admin tasks.

Associate Director of Therapy Services Anita Cooper said: “The process we used was really time consuming.

“We needed a solution which would enable real-time data entry while ensuring data quality and without taking up too much clinical time.

“The digital pen solution is really simple to use. Very little training is required and the therapists have found it very easy to pick up.

“Users simply write on the digitised forms, while retaining the written copy, and then dock the pen at their convenience during the day.”

Source: ULHT | Photo: Streets Heaver