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Frank Hovis

Paperless Office / Nhs

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The NHS the latest to go for the Elysian fields of the paperless office.

I must have been hearing this for thirty years. People (read people who haven't actually done an administrative office job) see paper shuffling and presume that it is inefficient and wasteful purely because the physical paper exists, so their glorious insight is "go paperless!".

I immediately know that they are the same type of MBA numpty that thinks hot-desking is a good idea.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for reduction - e.g. give board members a tablet and let them receive their weighty board papers on this - but the cost is the staff time and for anything not entirely routine having prints that you can make notes on is usually more efficient.

As a third mark of the numpty manager we have the "clean desk policy" where all desks must be empty of paperwork overnight for some spurious efficiency reason.

The best response to that I encountered was one guy who each night swept his whole desktop into a drawer, only to spend ten minutes to replace it in its entirety the next day.

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The NHS the latest to go for the Elysian fields of the paperless office.

I must have been hearing this for thirty years. People (read people who haven't actually done an administrative office job) see paper shuffling and presume that it is inefficient and wasteful purely because the physical paper exists, so their glorious insight is "go paperless!".

I immediately know that they are the same type of MBA numpty that thinks hot-desking is a good idea.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for reduction - e.g. give board members a tablet and let them receive their weighty board papers on this - but the cost is the staff time and for anything not entirely routine having prints that you can make notes on is usually more efficient.

As a third mark of the numpty manager we have the "clean desk policy" where all desks must be empty of paperwork overnight for some spurious efficiency reason.

The best response to that I encountered was one guy who each night swept his whole desktop into a drawer, only to spend ten minutes to replace it in its entirety the next day.

Don't make me laugh! The office I currently work in is the worst managed and least paperless I've worked in in the last 15 years. The resistance to change is fearsome. I blame it on the Isle of Wight natives that predominate. Sadly, I'm not in a managerial position - I don't want another stroke - but the stress of not being able to change it is terrific. ?

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Ha ha ha! Printers are big business!

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Oh, the halcyon days when a form had to be photocopied by an administrator several times for distribution on paper by snail mail.

Now it's just a click and an e-mail distribution of a PDF, 'paperwork' has increased hugely. It's now no effort for administrators to bulk up forms with pages of questions demanding information that will never be read as the printing effort has been transferred. Whereas if they still had to photocopy and mail the forms they would still be the few pages they were.

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I think we've all been there.

The follow-on clips are great too!

Keep watching for the one at the end where people keep holding the lift and they do it just one too many times.

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Err,

My place is pretty paperless.

Im totally paperless - I made a lot of effort to ensure that everything I do is done electronically.

My main reason from that electronic copies are a lot easier to mange - backup, duplicate,markup etc.

As far as the NHS, if it something that makes NHS employees do any work or change their routine then there is little chance.

The NHS mainly exists to serve the people who work there.

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And the paperwork in the NHS keeps a lot of Unison people in ungainful employment.

Seriously!

I was chatting to a GP about this topic - office admin, process and the like.

He has to deal with his practice's admin - they employ about 6 heads for this.

He reckons the regional hospital is even worse - about 20% of the 4000 there just shuffle paperwork.

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As an employee of a hospital trust I can tell you that it will never happen.

I work in a team that scans a lot of older paperwork but it can never be completely paperless.

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As a reasonably skilled software developer I would say the reason we still have too much paper systems in businesses is because good developers are not rewarded in a corporate environment. It's the managers that are awarded. Go and do a Masters in some 'business' course at university, get a nice marketable 'MBA' title and then you get to go manage a team of software developers on three times their salary just because you are a 'business' employee.

These MBA graduates don't have much practical skills other than an ability follow business procedure and documentation as well as an ability to manipulate people that work under them so that they can get the credit for their work. In a lot of companies when a team has done a good job it's the manager that gets the credit.

If good IT skills were awarded properly in this country then it would be a much more popular subject to study and salaries would be higher, there would be less of the double standards business/ managerial staff VS IT staff. A lot of older 40+ people I know who work in IT have become very bitter about the corporate culture.

If you understand all that corporate culture speak and how to ******** yourself in, it's possible to really milk the system. However there's a lot of people like me who have real skills that hate that culture and wouldn't want to be good at it.

The truly intelligent IT geeks go self employed, which is what I'm doing.

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You can aim for less paper.

OK had caffeine now.

The problem is not paper or paper work rather the process and procedures that generate it.

The paperwork in the NHS is a direct result of the make-work processes in place.

Aiming for a paper-less NHS is a pointless exercise - again, its a make-work scheme for NHS managment FFS.

The government should hire a pane of people who have experience of the Canadian, French, German and Singapore health system and let them rip on the NHS.

P1ssing around and asking people within the NHS to reform and restructure the org is a waste of time.

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As a reasonably skilled software developer I would say the reason we still have too much paper systems in businesses is because good developers are not rewarded in a corporate environment. It's the managers that are awarded. Go and do a Masters in some 'business' course at university, get a nice marketable 'MBA' title and then you get to go manage a team of software developers on three times their salary just because you are a 'business' employee.

These MBA graduates don't have much practical skills other than an ability follow business procedure and documentation as well as an ability to manipulate people that work under them so that they can get the credit for their work. In a lot of companies when a team has done a good job it's the manager that gets the credit.

If good IT skills were awarded properly in this country then it would be a much more popular subject to study and salaries would be higher, there would be less of the double standards business/ managerial staff VS IT staff. A lot of older 40+ people I know who work in IT have become very bitter about the corporate culture.

If you understand all that corporate culture speak and how to ******** yourself in, it's possible to really milk the system. However there's a lot of people like me who have real skills that hate that culture and wouldn't want to be good at it.

The truly intelligent IT geeks go self employed, which is what I'm doing.

Software is new.

Most orgs have barely recovered from the change of Abacus to Calculator.

IT is not software.

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Software is new.

Most orgs have barely recovered from the change of Abacus to Calculator.

IT is not software.

Actually these days when it comes to business applications you shouldn't think of software as some kind of executable that you run on Windows. But you should kind of it as the SaaS cloud computing solutions that companies like Amazon and Google do. The technology has been around for years but then some smart companies coined the term 'cloud' to market it better. Bob's your uncle now IT services have been corporatized to the point where it's difficult as a software developer to directly profit from your skills. Your only option is to be a Googleslave or a Microsoftslave, or [insert company here] slave where THEY profit from your skills.

The most successful IT people always go self employed and do something outside the box. A guy I knew who worked at Google was developing a new menu for Android which looked 100x better than their default one. He ended up quitting Google and releasing the menu by himself on Google store for a price. Because he realised Google would not reward him well for his efforts.

He ended up making over a million pounds from the menu.

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You can aim for less paper.

OK had caffeine now.

The problem is not paper or paper work rather the process and procedures that generate it.

The paperwork in the NHS is a direct result of the make-work processes in place.

Aiming for a paper-less NHS is a pointless exercise - again, its a make-work scheme for NHS managment FFS.

The government should hire a pane of people who have experience of the Canadian, French, German and Singapore health system and let them rip on the NHS.

P1ssing around and asking people within the NHS to reform and restructure the org is a waste of time.

Totally agree. The programme Gerry Robinson fixes the NHS was jaw-dropping it what it exposed; nothing changed.

Any attempt to genuinely make it more efficient is taken as an attack on the NHS. Whenever any change is proposed the usual suspect who is always wheeled on the local radio is not a patients' group representative concerned about the effect upon patients.

No, it is, every time, the Unison rep whose only concern is protecting the existing jobs and conditions of NHS employees and this is lapped up by the presenters who seem to agree that the primary reason for the NHS is to provide lots of cushy office jobs at national pay scales.

Saying anything to question this meets the same response as if you said that your hobby was punching nurses as they come off shift.

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As an employee of a hospital trust I can tell you that it will never happen.

I work in a team that scans a lot of older paperwork but it can never be completely paperless.

It cant happen.

consent forms, written documents for safeguarding, applications for care homing a patient, the fact that medical records are legal documents, few of these could be made paperless...there has to be an original form.

However, there is a ton of process that really has little to do with the patient records...

Saying that scans and things are already available electronically from hospital to GP.

In my hospital, which I left, they fax many documents.

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consent forms, written documents for safeguarding, applications for care homing a patient, the fact that medical records are legal documents, few of these could be made paperless...there has to be an original form.

Of course they can! All we need is widespread acceptance of digital signatures.

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Of course they can! All we need is widespread acceptance of digital signatures.

and instead of a folder a £600 hardened handheld for every member of staff capable of being cleaned every use, wireless infrastructure that is bullet proof, and an amazing change to IT where progress is halted...many older formats become obsolete and unprocessable.

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Paperless office? No thanks, every time I get a document or paper I need to give more than a quick glance it's far easier to print it out to work through it. This is particularly true if there are several that I need to refer to (and it's useful to be able to draw / scrribble / write on them) frequently. The whole paperless office thing is another case for making things as high-tech as possible for the sake of it.

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Actually these days when it comes to business applications you shouldn't think of software as some kind of executable that you run on Windows. But you should kind of it as the SaaS cloud computing solutions that companies like Amazon and Google do. The technology has been around for years but then some smart companies coined the term 'cloud' to market it better. Bob's your uncle now IT services have been corporatized to the point where it's difficult as a software developer to directly profit from your skills. Your only option is to be a Googleslave or a Microsoftslave, or [insert company here] slave where THEY profit from your skills.

The most successful IT people always go self employed and do something outside the box. A guy I knew who worked at Google was developing a new menu for Android which looked 100x better than their default one. He ended up quitting Google and releasing the menu by himself on Google store for a price. Because he realised Google would not reward him well for his efforts.

He ended up making over a million pounds from the menu.

Depends on your concept of success.

In terms of producing systems then self-employed 'IT' people are not successful.

The most profitable software systems are the most complex, taking many 10s of man years to complete.

Self-employed IT people fall into two broad categories:

MS cert idiots, who move from company to company configuring systems. They range from people who plug in cables and set up routers, to people who configure SAP systems.

90^ of these people have about 5-10 years employment as most skills move on and they do not.

The others tend to have a very specific, high skill set.

These tend to do work on stuff in short batches.

Think people who will come and do design work on hardware, or bail out some god almighty fup

These people make their living at staying skilled up.

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Paperless office? No thanks, every time I get a document or paper I need to give more than a quick glance it's far easier to print it out to work through it. This is particularly true if there are several that I need to refer to (and it's useful to be able to draw / scrribble / write on them) frequently. The whole paperless office thing is another case for making things as high-tech as possible for the sake of it.

You need an ereader.

Reading stuff of paper is habit.

Reading stuff of screen is hard.

Also depends is you are just reading or marking up.

Electronic markup is a *lot* easier performed digitally.

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I must have been hearing this for thirty years. People (read people who haven't actually done an administrative office job) see paper shuffling and presume that it is inefficient and wasteful purely because the physical paper exists, so their glorious insight is "go paperless!".

As a third mark of the numpty manager we have the "clean desk policy" where all desks must be empty of paperwork overnight for some spurious efficiency reason.

Paper has higher storage and handling costs than digital. Additionally, if there is a paper record it can be subject to FOI requests (public sector) or 'discovery' for legal action.

'Clean desk policy' is usually an information security issue not a 'paper' issue, i.e. don't leave sensitive information lying about.

Totally agree. The programme Gerry Robinson fixes the NHS was jaw-dropping it what it exposed; nothing changed.

Yes, that was a great show. Still, we hear the NHS does not need to be reformed but does need limitless additional funding.

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My paper usage has collapsed also filing and folders in general. Think I recall someone in the industry telling me the European copier paper market has surplus production capacity of over 500,000 tonnes and increasing rapidly.

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Paper has higher storage and handling costs than digital. Additionally, if there is a paper record it can be subject to FOI requests (public sector) or 'discovery' for legal action.

And of course paper storage costs are related to property/land costs

Until very recently I was skeptical about scanning and storing documents digitally actually being cost effective, the cost of running (and backing up) multiple servers for 10 or 20 years is not cheap, but the ever falling cost of hardware and rising cost of office space means that it is now a no brainer.

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You need an ereader.

Reading stuff of paper is habit.

Reading stuff of screen is hard.

Also depends is you are just reading or marking up.

Electronic markup is a *lot* easier performed digitally.

paperless office is great for people with desks.

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