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Posted on March 23, 2021

FormStream online e-form application helps NHS Lanarkshire save 40 hours per month by simplifying sickness absence document management

Challenge

To simplify labour and time consuming paperwork for record keeping and reporting of absences for NHS Lanarkshire.

Solution

Using web based e-form application FormStream to digitise employee absence records – from initial submission to reporting.

Results

“Voice Technologies helped us develop a web based form that allowed us to streamline sickness absence document management processes, save time and improve our service.”
Simon Martin, Health Improvement Senior (Salus)

Background

NHS Lanarkshire is the third largest health board in Scotland, employing around 12,000 staff working in communities, health centres, clinics, offices and three district general hospitals.

The board’s system for recording staff absence and providing support was seen as labour intensive and relied upon a number of manual interventions. Managers were required to note any absences using a three page Early Access to Support (EASY) form via FirstPort, the NHS Lanarkshire staff intranet. Specific information such as date of birth and payroll number was not easily available, costing managers time in locating it from other systems and occasionally leading to manual input error.

Once submitted, the form could only be actioned once it had been downloaded, printed and passed to the Salus Occupational Health, Safety & Return to Work team. Salus would then contact staff reported as absent and offer support.

The board were encouraged by their IT provider to seek out an alternative fully digital solution which could efficiently deal with the extra demands caused by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and a future upgrade for FirstPort.

New absence reported system

Voice Technologies designed a new one-page reporting form which is accessed via FormStream, our web-based e-forms (electronic forms) application. As FormStream was already live within NHS Lanarkshire, the new EASY e-form is readily accessible to managers and the Salus team with no issues reported.

Fields are auto-populated using active directory data to speed up the form-filling process. Upon verification, the form is digitally sent to the Salus team for processing via the FormStream app. No paper copies are required. Managers can review the status of a submitted form at any time and a staff member’s absence history is easy to review.

FormStream saved NHS Lanarkshire a total of 200 hours in the first five months

In the first five months since the launch of the new EASY e-form, 2,400 submissions were made from 875 distinct users. Managers are saving on average at least two minutes per referral and the Salus team are saving up to three minutes on average processing each referral.