Processing approximately 650 letters per week, the practices utilise Docman for all of their clinical correspondence.
Ed Longridge is the Quality Development and Information Systems Manager for Chilwell Valley and Meadows Surgeries. A Docman champion, his mother also used very early versions of the system as a practice manager in the 1990’s.
“Docman was chosen because it was seen to be the only effective way of managing the increasing amount of correspondence in the practice, in terms not only of storage but also circulation of the documents.”
Docman was launched in the practices in November 2008 to provide a complete electronic document management, messaging and workflow solution.
A significant improvement on the old paper system, Docman provides the security and auditability to ensure that no letters become lost or mislaid. Ed comments, “For years we circulated paper letters at the lunchtime meeting, for the doctor to add comments and then the letter would be filed in the paper record once dealt with. Frequently letters would be lost, mislaid or stuck in someone’s tray.”
“The Doctors love it, especially when compared to how the paper based system used to be.”
Docman has helped to streamline the practices’ processes, replacing the unreliable paper method with a secure and efficient, electronic process. “We receive a mix of paper and electronic letters from our local trusts and other sources. These are either scanned in or imported respectively, before they are sent in a workflow to the relevant clinician who either adds comments/actions and forwards to Reception or the coders or simply files the document.”
Maximising efficiencies with iWorkflow
iWorkflow is the very latest in next-generation electronic document workflow. It incorporates intelligent routing based on assigned actions which streamline the creation and processing of workflows. iWorkflow provides practices with huge measurable efficiencies and frees-up valuable time for healthcare professionals and administrative staff.
“iWorkflow is really helpful when forwarding a document from a GP to a group of staff where only one of them needs to deal with it. When they complete it, it disappears from the in-trays of the others.”
The practices utilise the out of office feature offered in iWorkflow and create time savings using the quick step function.
“Clinicians take fewer mouse clicks by using iWorkflow and can send messages within the workflow. The administration team have a central place where they know they can view all documents awaiting action; they can add notes while ‘maintaining’ the document for other members of staff.”
Automatically detecting patient and filing details with Intellisense
Intellisense is an advanced Optical Character Recognition (OCR) engine that automatically detects patient and filing details, significantly improving the speed and data quality of filing into the patient’s clinical record.
“We use Intellisense in the initial identification of patients for information such as ‘date of clinic’, ‘departments’, ‘hospitals’ etc. Intellisense saves quite some time in terms of not having to look for the correct patient or department for example. We estimate that Intellisense saves 30 seconds to a minute per document and with 650 letters a week this soon adds up!”
Improving data quality
“Docman has been an incremental implementation at our practice, however when compared now to the paper-based alternative, it will save enormous amounts of time and effort and it is certainly functionality we would not like to be without!”
“All letters that need coding can be sent direct to the coding team as well as to reception for any admin task, thereby ensuring essential information is coded as soon as possible into the clinical system and is not ‘stuck’ in anyone’s in-tray.”
The next steps
The practices currently use the Surgery Documents function of Docman for storing their non-clinical correspondence with a view to use Docman BackOffice. Using the BackOffice Library module will allow the practice to store, manage and retrieve all non-clinical correspondence electronically. Furthermore, the range of BackOffice Apps will allow the practice to digitally store important CQC information such as fridge logs, accident logs, asset logs, practice feedback and room temperatures.
“We are considering using the Library module in the future and we are also considering using Collaborator.”
Docman Collaborator offers a fully audited discussion platform for organisations, enabling everyone to manage, share and discuss matters relating to patients and the running of the surgery or clinic. Collaborator can help to reduce the need for physical meetings, providing a platform for internal referral review, complex patient discussion, managing patient complaints, meeting actions and todo lists and much more.