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Surrey County Council

Fujitsu helps Surrey County Council ‘keep IT
legal’

Industries:

  • Government

Offering Groups:

  • Scanners

Solution Areas:

  • Imaging Solutions

Regions:

  • United Kingdom

Challenges:

  • The need to ensure consistency, continuity and quality
  • Requirement for extensive up to date information
  • Meet legal requirements

Benefits:

  • Ease of use and access
  • Quick and easy sharing of information
  • Improved services and cost reduction

About Surrey County Council
Surrey County Council is a large public sector organisation responsible for services including education, social care for the vulnerable, roads and waste disposal.

Under the Department of Health’s Information for Social Care initiative to improve quality in social care through IT, the council has to keep electronic social care records. In essence, there is a requirement to have an electronic record of social care activities to ensure consistency, continuity and quality in service delivery. Having records in electronic format means records can be accessed remotely and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The availability of information is crucial in improving the quality of services provided by the county council’s social care departments. The electronic social care record ensures that all professionals dealing with a case can access extensive up to date information which may be crucial to informing the decisions taken. Ultimately this initiative helps safeguard Surrey’s most vulnerable residents.

IT team driving compliance

The responsibility for meeting this directive for electronic social care records falls to the IT department. This project is run by Cary Osborn, a Senior Project Manager for Information and Management Technology. Osborn manages the project to switch from a paper-based system to an electronic format. He said: “The electronic social care record includes all information relevant for a service user. This includes structured and unstructured information as well as client indexes. Although this is a lot of information, it is equally important that it is recorded in a format that is easy to access and use.”

Fujitsu scanners – an enabler for change

To meet the legal requirements for social care, the council mainly uses Fujitsu fi-6010N network scanners –It also uses Fujitsu fi-6230 workgroup scanners and fi-6770 production scanners. These models were chosen after thorough research and testing and were found to be the most appropriate for the localised scanning approach within social care, due to their high quality scans and ability to scan documents of all sizes as well as being very quiet. Fujitsu is the only scanner seller that includes image processing options in most of its range. These clean up scanned images, minimising user input during the scanning process, which hugely increases productivity and efficiency.

The scanner range selected by the county council provides great flexibility in managing a variety of requirements and volumes. Additionally due to the extensive and all encompassing family of scanners that Fujitsu provides the ability to only work with one seller was an important part of Surrey’s decision now and in the future as the project expands. These scanners enable the council to make electronic renditions of all social care records, making it far easier for the records to be shared with other individuals, teams and departments within the county council and offering the potential to collaborate with partner organisations involved in case work. The Fujitsu scanners are easy to use which vastly reduces training requirements and the time that can be taken to ‘get up to speed’. The county council particularly liked the fi-6010N as it could easily integrate into the existing office environments and empowered staff at a local level without the need for a specialised, central scanning function.

Fujitsu was crucial in moving the council towards a more efficient and electronic way of keeping and delivering social care records. More importantly, it was heavily involved in the early stages of deployment and in selecting the software that will be used with the hardware. The software that was chosen was Kofax Front Office Server. This was integrated directly into the scanner and delivers business processes relevant to staff at the point of scanning

Fujitsu’s consultancy in integrating the software into the hardware was a crucial component in selecting the particular scanner models enhancing the existing integration features and enabling a centralised management system to be utilised. This allows the software to be rolled out from a centralised location and enables better management of assets. For instance, through this system, a manager can easily discover which scanner is not being used and redeploy it elsewhere.

This works particularly well for the county council as there are many social services personnel working from many different sites. Due to the nature of the council’s work, employees are regularly on the move and need access to tools for information recording at a number of locations. With the Fujitsu scanner, as the software is embedded into the scanner itself, it doesn’t need additional hardware like a PC or a laptop, which makes it appropriate for mobile working, Additionally, as the format and structure of reports produced is predetermined on the front panel, it makes for a coordinated working approach as all the scans go through the same work flow.

There are other benefits to the centralised management system on the Fujitsu scanners. It also enables the council to define business processes and rules on the network scanners such as establishing access to different workflows and identity and access management. For instance, once a user is in the system, they can be set a certain level of access and the system also keeps a record of what has been scanned, by whom and when. All in all, the system provides a more consistent back-end process, keeping the central location updated.

Fujitsu also played a key consulting role and worked with the software sellers to ensure that the software came with front panel integration as well as training the project team ahead on the rollout and offering additional recommendations and support

Osborn said: “These Fujitsu scanners have positively impacted the way we work, transformed social care and the way we deliver these services to the public. The scanners are making us fit for the future.”

Brian Fortune, Country Manager UK&I at PFU Imaging Solutions said: “It is great to hear that we can help Surrey County Council to achieve its goal to have electronic social care records and become compliant. We admire the efforts of Surrey County Council and encourage other departments and public sector bodies to take up the challenge of reducing the reliance on paper-based systems. Electronic documents are definitely the way of the future”.

Scanning is the future

The county council was given a government grant in order to ensure that implementation of the electronic system and it is now on course to fulfil these requirements. Recently the county council has embarked on a wider change initiative to the delivery of social care to improve services, make savings and also to improve the outcomes for people.. The document imaging provided by the Fujitsu and Kofax solution has played a significant part in transforming the way the council provides these services. This wider change initiative saw the county council shortlisted for the Personalisation and Choice Achievement of the year category in local government trade publication the Municipal Journal’s annual awards this year. The council plan to extend their electronic record management to cover child social care services. Fujitsu scanners will again be part of this process and to this the council has purchased 110 Fujitsu scanners. The council is looking at further opportunities to make use of records management technology across other services where it can improve services and efficiency for residents and to meet the increasing demands on record keeping compliance. Osborn added: “We plan to continue to deliver timely and efficient services to our constituents and electronic management with Fujitsu scanners will form a big part of this process.”

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