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Anoto digital pens and patient forms

The new system means quick and easy recording of feedback with no disruption to patients and huge time and cost savings for staff

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Mandy Hassall
Six Degrees Ltd
T: +44 (0)1628 480280/+44 (0)7855 359889

Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is improving patient care by speeding up the process of patient feedback after implementing a new Digital Pen and Paper solution from technology innovator Anoto and UK partner Ubisys. For an initial investment of £65,000, the solution has revolutionised the patient feedback process, saving staff up to 30 man-hours a week – around 1,500 hours a year.

Deployed across 57 wards and departments, a patient, carer or member of staff can fill in a patient experience form using the Digital Pen, dock it at a PC or laptop on the ward and every morning the data is uploaded, collated and then sent for real-time analysis and reporting. Patient experience has significantly improved in 45 of the 55 areas surveyed. In addition, the Trust has secured Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) funding valued at £913,000.

“We are constantly striving to do better – in terms of patient feedback, patient experience and patient care,” explains Heather Keane, Assistant Director – Quality, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, who receives a daily patient feedback update.

“Our previous manual system was flawed, as it was very time-consuming and the information was often out of date by the time we received it – leading to delays in improvements to patient care. The new system means quick and easy recording of feedback with no disruption to patients and huge time and cost savings for staff. The pens are simple to use, require no training and are familiar to everyone who has ever used pen and paper.”

The Trust plans to continue the rollout, potentially up to 1,000 users. Designed for the hospital’s specific requirements, Anoto partner Ubisys installed its Ubisys Formidable platform on its own network and placed a pen on every ward.

“The joy of Digital Pen technology is in its simplicity – easy to install, easy to use and easy to become reliant on,” adds Ubisys Managing Director, Tarek Ghouri. “Our years of experience working within healthcare means we can focus on helping deliver improved patient outcomes by allowing healthcare providers to focus on their job – caring for patients – and less on administration. We are looking forward to completing the rollout at Doncaster and seeing further improvements.”


Information for editors

The technology behind Digital Pen and Paper

Anoto Digital Pen technology remembers what has been written or drawn on regular paper imprinted with the unique, almost invisible Anoto dot pattern, and transmits this data back to a PC or server. The digital pen writes just like a normal ballpoint pen, but has a tiny infrared camera at its tip. Any paper can be used with a Digital Pen if the Anoto dot pattern is added to the layout before printing the paper. The dot pattern consists of numerous barely visible black dots that can be read by the digital pen. The pen reads the pattern and registers what and where the user writes. The Anoto dot pattern can be generated using a standard printer. The technology is ideally suited to form-based processes such as those commonly used within both healthcare and social care.

About Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust aims to provide local, sustainable, excellent services. It provides a range of acute medical services at three hospitals (Bassetlaw Hospital in Worksop, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and Montagu Hospital, Mexborough) and in a number of community locations. In addition, outpatient services are provided at Retford Hospital, and rehabilitation services for older people at Tickhill Road Hospital, Doncaster. The Trust serves a population of over 410,000 people in the areas covered by Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Bassetlaw District Council, as well as from parts of North Derbyshire, Barnsley, Rotherham, and north-west Lincolnshire. It employs on average 5,237 staff.

In 2009/10, there were over 77,045 emergency attendances, including both A&E patients and medical emergencies, over 97,425 new outpatients were referred, and over 50,529 inpatients were treated and discharged. In this year’s new ratings by the Care Quality Commission, the Trust was classified as Excellent for Quality of services and Good for Use of resources. It maintained a Good patient environment rating for each hospital site in 2010.

The Trust was approved as one of the first 10 NHS foundation trusts in March 2004 after receiving the top-rated three stars in the NHS Performance Ratings for five years. It also won the Top40 Hospitals Award for seven years. Membership of this NHS foundation trust is open to residents of Bassetlaw and Doncaster, and patients from outside these areas, over the age of 16. For membership enquiries, contact the Membership Office on (01302) 381355 or e-mail

About Ubisys:

Ubisys delivers innovative and reliable end to end solutions based on Anoto Technology that deliver improved patient outcomes via deployment of the award-winning “Formidable” digital pen platform. With an extensive base of customers benefiting from their innovation, Ubisys has built a positive reputation for implementing solutions that deliver.

About Anoto Group AB:

Anoto Group is the company behind and world leading in the unique technology for digital pen and paper, which enables fast and reliable transmission of handwritten text into a digital format. Anoto operates through a global partner network that focuses on user-friendly forms solutions for efficient capture, transmission and storage of data within different business segments, e.g. healthcare, bank and finance, transport and logistics and education. The Anoto Group has around 80 employees, offices in Lund (head office), Boston and Tokyo. The Anoto share is traded on the Small Cap list of the OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm under the ticker ANOT. For more information:

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