This article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of The Record.
Taking reams of paper to meetings is pretty much a thing of the past at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), thanks to the use of new paperless meeting software from Dutch technology developer iBabs.
The board and executive team within the National Health Service (NHS) have been using the software, also called iBabs, for just over a year, and it has transformed the way they manage documents.
“Our board was looking to move to an electronic system for a while,” says Dawn Sharp, assistant director and deputy board secretary at BCUHB. “Our search began in earnest in October 2015, when we began a tendering exercise. We chose iBabs because it was cost effective and looked simple to use. There are lots of similar products on the market, but some come with a much higher price tag.”
The software rollout began in spring 2016, as part of a phased implementation. “Rather than take a big bang approach, we decided to get our executive team onboard with the software first,” Sharp explains. “They were really behind the project and it meant we could address any teething issues internally within a small group. Over a period of about two months, we then introduced it incrementally across the wider team.”
Today, the software is used by the BCUHB’s board and executive team. Seeing the difference it is making, other departments within the organisation have expressed their interest in iBabs too. “Everyone has found the system extremely helpful and very easy to use,” Sharp says. “Staff involved in uploading to the system love it and departments are keen to expand its use beyond the core board/committee functionality. Board members also like the ability to make comments on papers as they prepare for meetings.”
In particular, staff appreciate no longer having to print off bulky documents before a meeting. They can now access board papers instantly, as opposed to waiting for them to arrive in the post. Uploading documents online is also now much quicker and easier. “Using iBabs, we create a simple document bundle and upload everything with the click of a button,” Sharp explains. “And because it’s an intelligent pdf, team members can easily access parts of a document that are relevant to them.”
Using iBabs, BCUHB is able to make steps towards meeting its sustainability goals, increase productivity, reduce costs and equip its staff with a tool that is very easy to use.
“We’re so pleased with the software, and feedback from our users is so positive,” says Sharp. “The iBabs support staff have been great too. They have resolved any minor teething problems encountered along the way and have been very quick to respond when we’ve had any questions or needed extra training. We’re looking forward to expanding the use of the technology and bringing its benefits to our wider organisation.”