Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Modernizes Millions of Patient Records


The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the largest acute hospital trusts in Europe. It employs over 17,000 staff across seven hospitals and 175 medical buildings. The Trust supports the health and wellbeing of the community and plays a leading role in research, education and innovation. Leeds Teaching Hospitals offer 120 specialists services and see over 1.6 million patients every year. 

The Challenge

With such a large number of patients, The Trust was bogged down with paper records and documents, stored in a large warehouse. It needed a modern, enterprise content management (ECM) solution to digitize the millions of patient records and drive increased productivity, collaboration and an improved patient experience. 

“We had been scanning paper notes into our legacy system, which could then be accessed through our repository, but it wasn’t a proper ECM system,” said Rob Child, the Trust’s head of digital health programs. “To find relevant information, users had to scroll through the heap. It was hard to find what you needed.” 

The Trust wanted a solution that would integrate with its existing record solution, as well as a digital shared care record initiative that allows clinical staff to view healthcare information across multiple care providers and between different systems in real time. The Trust was not able to play a bigger role in this initiative due to the high use of paper records and its existing records management system. 

The Solution

The organization needed an open source-based solution and chose Alfresco Digital Business Platform for its ability to integrate with its existing patient pathway manager that was built in-house. “That was one of our stipulations and what really interested us about Alfresco – its ability out of the box to be configured,” Child said. “We’re moving away from legacy systems and the ability to integrate with other systems is a prerequisite to any system we buy.” 

With Alfresco, the Trust can begin converting its overwhelming number of patient records, getting closer to its ultimate goal of becoming a paperless, digital hospital. 

The Trust partnered with SynApps Solutions to design a process flow within Alfresco to track and manage content, making information easily searchable. They are also working to improve the process of creating medical leaflets that includes a template with questions and suggested medical illustrations. Once created, these leaflets will be published to a library, where they can be accessed online. The improvements will streamline the entire process to be faster and easier to use for employees. 

Following this success, the Trust is evaluating other departments for additional opportunities to digitize other processes, creating new efficiencies. 

“With Alfresco, we can get content out and share it easily,” Child said. “We can extract bits of data from patient records and put them into a timeline. Documents include a description so that users can search for information and find what they need.” 

The Results

The Trust has completely overhauled its records management system and is converting its massive volume of paper records into digital format. Once information is scanned into Alfresco, the paper document can be destroyed, eliminating the need to store document for years on end. 

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