Framework agreement supports rollout of digital pen technology

South Coast procurement support service announces framework to modernise paper-based systems -

The rollout of digital pen technology and the phasing out of paper-based systems within the NHS gathers pace with the announcement of a new procurement framework.

Solent Supplies Team (SST), which provides procurement support for NHS trusts on the south coast, is hoping the move will produce a ‘total digital pen solution’ to capture handwritten notes and forms.

It marks the first framework agreement for the technology, speading up purchasing and allowing for greater discounts.

Already accepted onto the framework are suppliers DevelopIQ, Destiny Wireless and Digital Ink.

The framework will allow for greater discounts to all using it from the economies of scale that are generated. This will allow quicker access to the benefits of up-and-coming proven technologies that offer a clinical and commercial benefit to organisations

As well as the NHS, the contract also covers other public sector organisations and is expected to speed up deployment of the technology across the region.

Already, equipment supplied by DevelopIQ is being used in midwifery departments at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, is being piloted in the A&E department, and will soon be rolled out to paediatrics.

An earlier rollout in Wales with the Aneurin Bevan Health Board has generated estimated annual cost savings of £600,000.

A spokesman for SST said: “Other trusts have shown an interest in the technology, hence the development of a framework for use by those, the NHS and beyond.

“The framework will allow for greater discounts to all using it from the economies of scale that are generated. This will allow quicker access to the benefits of up-and-coming proven technologies that offer a clinical and commercial benefit to organisations. The reduction in time to allow deployment across the country will bring clinical and financial benefits to go towards the £20billion national targets."

Speaking about its success in securing a place on the framework agreement, Robert Bakewell, chief executive of DevelopIQ, said: “The evaluation process for the digital pen framework has been incredibly tough, but with public sector organisations now being able to buy from the preferred solution providers, the process provides them with confidence that the public sector is getting the best possible price for their digital pen solution.

“Together with our NHS customers, we have proven that digital pen solutions deliver significant care benefits and major savings in operational costs. With the launch of this purchasing framework, public sector organisations will be able to implement similar solutions much faster.”

Digital pen technology is designed to capture handwriting so users can send images through the internet or store them on a computer hard drive. The data can then automatically be entered into the electronic patient record system.

Companies