NHS Scotland is making savings of £2.9m a year by implementing a single set of business processes and sharing management software across 22 health boards.
The project is part of the Scotland's efficient government initiative, a response to the 2005 Gershon Review on cutting the cost of public services by improving business processes.
NHS Scotland has invested £3.6m in a health business suite from COA Solutions. The system is made up of core financial management procurement human resource and payroll systems collaborative document management and business intelligence sofware. It is rolling out best practice business processes developed with Atos Origin
NHS Scotland has deployed the financial management component, with the others to follow over the next few years. The project is expected to save £6.4m a year by 2009, rising to £10m when the roll-out is complete.
John Francis, programme director for NHS Scotland shared support services programme, said the software is expected reduce the storage, distribution and other costs associated with paper documents and make it easier for all health boards in Scotland to share staff, responsibilities and information.
"Being able to access and analyse data from all health boards will also enable a detailed and holistic view of the health service, allowing for improved decision-making," Francis said.
Although England and Wales are using some components of the COA software, they have deployed them in the past four years on a site-by-site basis.
Five groups led by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, NHS National Services Scotland, NHS Tayside, NHS Glasgow & Clyde, and NHS Lothian will manage the COA software implementations locally with a view to moving eventually moving to a single shared services programme.