‘Paper picnic’ brings nurses together to help digitize patient records

A unique ‘paper picnic’ held at a children’s hospital in South Yorkshire brought together hundreds of nurses and colleagues to work towards the full digitization of patient records.

Nearly 300 paper files were brought to the event at Sheffield Children’s Hospital by more than 200 clinical staff, including nurses from the oncology and radiology departments.

“Reducing paper records will help us move forward on our digitization journey”

Lisa Gregoire

Once recorded and filed, the documents were laid out on the ground like a picnic blanket, to show staff the types of paper records currently in use and to spark discussions about going digital.

Held at the hospital’s Podium Garden, the paper picnic was the second of its kind to be held.

It is part of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundations Trust’s drive to reduce its reliance on paper and move to full digitization of patient records, including care plans, patient notes and risk assessments .

Lisa Gregory, a nurse in charge of e-prescribing and medication administration at the trust, described the paper picnic as a “successful event with mass engagement across all the different areas of the trust”.

She added, “Reducing paper records will help us move forward on our digitization journey.

“Ultimately, this will benefit patients by saving them time and reducing frustration caused by duplicate documents.”

The paper picnic is part of the first stage of the trust’s Visualise, Optimize and Digitize (VOD) program, which is helping the organization digitize its patient records.

The “Paper Picnic Blanket”

Following the picnic, workshops will be organized at the hospital to review all the documents identified.

Duplicate and unnecessary documents will then be removed to ensure that what remains is ready to be transferred into a digital format.

The VOD model and Paper Picnic were originally developed by System C Healthcare and Dione Rogers, currently Assistant Chief Nurse and Head of Nursing Informatics at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals.

The initiatives were launched in 2021 when the first paper picnic event took place at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Kevin Connolly, Chief Information Officer at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘The Paper Picnic and other stages of the VOD program are wonderful examples of the co-creation principles we embrace here at Sheffield Children’s.

“It has helped us make digitization engaging, relevant and accessible, and it highlights the multidisciplinary nature of our organization.”

Earlier this week, the inauguration Nursing schedules A digital forum took place – a two-day virtual event focused on the digital agenda for nursing and heard from members of the profession about the latest innovations and strategies in this area.

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