Great Ormond Street Hospital improves workflow with Epson scanners

Every day, 618 children and young people from across the UK arrive at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), which carries out life-saving treatment to help seriously ill children.

The hospital is the largest centre for child heart surgery in the UK and one of the largest centres for heart transplantation in the world. Founded in 1852, the hospital has pioneered several medical breakthroughs; in 1962, it developed the first heart and lung bypass machine for children, revolutionising heart surgery. In 1979, Professor Roland Levinsky successfully carried out the UK’s first operation to transplant cells from a healthy donor into the bone marrow of a patient with severe combined immunodeficiency. In 2000, the hospital launched the world’s first gene therapy trials for children born without functioning immune systems.

Epson scanners helping save lives

In 2018, the hospital is making more steps to change lives, in a smaller but significant way: using scanners to help save lives. A new partnership with Epson is enabling medical staff to scan patient charts on site, ensuring the fastest possible administration of life-saving medication to improve care and treatment times. By using seven Epson WorkForce DS-70000N flatbed A3 network scanners throughout the hospital recovery areas, GOSH is alleviating pressure on its busy on-site scanning bureau – and ensuring that patients can be treated as soon as possible.

Every second counts

On average, 53 life-changing operations are carried out every day at GOSH. Post-op, patients are delivered to recovery areas across the hospital, in seven different departments, and are accompanied by a summarising anaesthetic A3 chart – which is where Epson’s scanners come in to play.

Previously, each patient chart was sent to the scanning bureau at that point. Placed in a different building, the bureau processes thousands of documents each day – meaning that a chart can take a substantial amount of time to be scanned and returned to a patient’s bedside.

This can become an issue if the chart was required by the anaesthetist when it was being processed by the scanning bureau.

GOSH decided that a quicker way of scanning was needed, and started the process to source an A3 scanner that could be used throughout the hospital to meet this need. A simple-sounding challenge, but surprisingly tough to meet – given the lack of suitable products on the market.

“We struggled to find a company that offered a true A3 scanner – most products double up on A4, Canon especially, which wouldn’t have suited our needs. The Epson DS-70000N scanner was the only product we found that met our needs. Not only was it perfectly suited for the task, but it was cheaper than we estimated and in fact very cost-effective,” comments Kamlesh Tailor, ICT Endpoint Engineer at GOSH.

At the push of three buttons

Epson loaned the hospital a scanner for over a month, allowing medical staff to practise using the equipment, before GOSH invested in seven units that were then implemented across the hospital.

“Epson’s support was faultless – from a six-week loan of the scanner to them visiting the site and showing us how to install the units, they helped us through each step of the implementation process. Everything from sales to tech was brilliant,” comments Kamlesh.

GOSH now has a scanner in each recovery area of the hospital: in imaging – where a child might be sedated for MRI or CAT scans – radiology, operational recovery and theatre areas. When a patient comes into recovery, their charts can now be scanned directly, in the same location, by a nurse or anaesthetist. The scan is then delivered instantly via the network to the scanning bureau for further use in all relevant departments.

This means a chart never leaves a patient, and ensures that medication can be administered at any time – and that all relevant staff have real-time access to the most recent patient information. Essentially, this takes away the risk of treatment not being given – which could have a fatal impact on the charge.

The scanning solution has also been implemented easily, without the need for further training for the 4000+ staff on-site – it takes three simple button presses to copy the chart. And, as a network-ready product that doesn’t need a connecting PC, there has been no requirements for investment in further technology – alleviating the budget and space issues that constantly hamper the hospital.

Scanning and saving lives

Epson scanners will continue to help GOSH administer life-saving treatment every day. Along with using the seven units currently installed throughout the hospital, GOSH plans to source a contingency scanner to ensure that it has the resource needed to consistently maintain on-site scanning in all key departments.

“We had a scanning resourcing issue – high up on our risk register – that needed addressing, and we wouldn’t have been able to fix the problem without Epson’s scanners,” says Kamlesh. “We did look around to product compare, but no others offered the solution we needed – Epson’s product was spot on.”

Great Ormond Street Hospital will continue to use the Epson WorkForce DS-70000N units to provide the on-site scanning functions that are so crucial to treatment times – and the lives of all the children that the hospital treats.