Study: UK government can save £70 billion with electronic document management

Businesses are constantly trying to find ways to reduce their bottom line, and many have found success doing so through paperless office solutions. Recently, the United States' National Archives and Records Administration issued a directive to all agencies to implement these digital solutions to streamline their operations. In other nations like the United Kingdom, a study from the Policy Exchange echoed a similar point, potentially saving government agencies £70 billion in seven years, which is equal to more than $100 million.

Researchers found that the Crown Prosecution Service prints out about 1 million sheets of paper each day, while passport applications are still processed by hand because they are submitted in paper form. This is the case even though 30 percent of citizens said that doing more tasks on the computer or over the internet could improve their daily work productivity.

"Switching to digital for everything the government does would generate billions of pounds' worth of savings that could be used to cut the deficit or improve public services," Chris Yiu, Policy Exchange researcher, told StoreTec.

The UK government does allow its officials to issue electronic proofs, and it is now taking another step toward paperless solutions by transitioning the National Health Service (NHS), the nation's public health care network, to electronic document management.

The NHS' plan to improve care for its patients

Through the support of the government, the NHS will be granted £1 billion—equivalent to about $1.3 billion—to improve its software. This will be highly beneficial to medical professionals who work in emergency departments because they will now be able to access patient information sooner than before, according to Future Government.

Before this system, many health care providers experienced difficulty looking up a person's medical records from other parts of the UK. Some tasks like placing e-prescription orders, should be possible by March 2015, and by 2018, the entire NHS network should run on its business process software.

"Rather than imposing a clunky one size fits all approach from [the government], this fund will empower local clinicians and health services to come together and find innovative solutions for their patients," Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt explained.

Health care information technology has been shown to improve the quality care for patients while reducing costs for practices. The UK's decision to look into this technology will only support its "massive demand [doctors] face as the population increases," Hunt added.

Similar changes are happening in the U.S., as more than half of doctor offices and 80 percent of hospitals run an electronic medical record system. Enterprise content management can improve operations for many organizations, regardless of size.


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