NHS Herefordshire

NHS Herefordshire required a solution to deliver hospital discharge summaries and reports to GPs quickly and accurately.

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NHS Herefordshire required a solution to deliver hospital discharge summaries and reports to GPs quickly and accurately.

NHS Herefordshire required a solution to deliver hospital discharge summaries and reports to GPs quickly and accurately.

Key objectives:

  • The delivery of electronic discharge messaging direct to GP practices
  • The delivery of electronic radiology report messaging (not images) direct to GP practice

Secondary Care

Discharge summaries from all in-patient wards at Hereford Hospital and all radiology reports from the Carestream RIS (Radiology Information System).

Primary Care

24 GP Surgeries within Herefordshire, including 12 with satellite surgeries.

Solution Overview

The Herefordshire Hospital Trust has deployed EDT Server to handle the transmission of electronic documents and reports from multiple hospital systems to GP practices.

The initial focus for the project was to provide a feed from the Carestream Health (formerly Kodak) Radiology Information System (RIS) into EDT Server. This was achieved by using the EDT Server API tools.

The Trust have also developed an in-house Electronic Discharge Summary system (EDS) to capture relevant discharge information from the appropriate clinical, pharmacy and ward staff. The electronic documents created via EDS, are sent to the GP Practice using EDT Server.

GP Practices were provided with PCTI’s Docman 7 including the Docman EDT module to receive electronic documents and reports from HHT. Once collected by the practice the documents are delivered into Docman 7 and filed into the GP system and electronically work-flowed around the Practice.

Docman Hub

EDT Server captures documents from Secondary Care systems and distributes them to Docman EDT enabled GP practices. Using EDT Servers xml based web service API, documents are posted to EDT Server from existing hospital systems. Documents are then transferred over N3 using a 256-bit encrypted connection to Docman EDT enabled GP practices.

Docman EDT

PCTI’s Electronic Document Transfer (EDT) solution, provides NHS Trusts with a simple and secure way to deliver electronic documents to GP surgeries and Primary Care organisations. Once the documents are received by the practice, they can be associated with the clinical record in the normal way.


Docman enables a practice to manage its paper and electronic documents in a secure environment, with controlled access from clinical systems. Documents are stored and tagged with criteria such as description, hospital, departments, consultant and keywords. Each may be secured using passwords and user security and further categorised into document folders. Documents may be passed around the practice to individuals or groups of users, who can then highlight, stamp and comment on the document enabling group discussion or to simply action.


Denise MacPherson – Lead Pharmacy Technician, Governance using Docman EDT to send Electronic Discharge Summaries (EDS):

“Before using Docman EDT and our in-house discharge solution (EDS) there were problems with the paper preliminary discharge letters and prescription; when writing them, the second page onwards started to be difficult to read and then in some cases becoming almost illegible on the lower copies. By using EDT and EDS the information sent is now legible, timely and with more important patient information being received immediately after the patient’s discharge”.

“There were two main drivers for the project; to improve communication and the quality of that communication between Primary and Secondary care, As a result this has improved HHT service to the patient by the quality and speed of information transfer to their GP. By sending electronic discharges summaries GPs are now informed about their patient’s prescription and a summary of their in-patient stay with the aim to do this within the 24 hour target.”

Trust Benefits

  • EDT Server provides an end to end real time audit trail for each document.
  • An automated receipt process allows you to track the status so you know when it is delivered to the GP practice.
  • Savings on printing and postage costs by sending correspondence electronically.
  • Link multiple systems to EDT Server with only a single link to the GP practice.
  • Send documents in a way which requires minimal processing by the practice.

Marcia Martin – Practice Manager – Greyfriars Surgery using Docman and Docman EDT highlights:

“Letters can now be received electronically with no need to scan them in; the documents can arrive straight into Docman for comments, and put into action. We have seen an improvement in the service to our patients as it has made it easy to view comments and results from our clinical system, to give the patient improved information and within a faster time scale. We have found Docman EDT simple, quick and easy in our Practice, sometimes we have a duplicate paper copy which needs a double check but other than this it has been greatly received.”

Marcia further highlights the benefits, “We have realised many benefits from PCTI Solutions; there is now a lot less paper passed around the Practice, and there is now no instance of any lost or mislaid clinical letters. Our Practice has benefited greatly, as there is no manual filing, resulting in less storage of paper, all from a safe robust system”.

Practice Benefits

  • Receive electronic documents directly into Docman for filing into the GP clinical system and onward workflow.
  • Secure delivery of documents over N3 using HTTPS (SSL Security).
  • All incoming documents are received in the same way, irrespective of the sending system in secondary care.
  • Documents including ‘meta-data’ (patient and document information) are auto-filed with minimal user intervention.

The next steps…

Herefordshire has successfully implemented Docman and Docman EDT, providing a fast, accurate solution for discharge summaries and reports to be sent efficiently between Secondary and Primary care.

In terms of transferring reports, the Trust is now considering widening the use of Docman to transmit other clinical information such as clinic letters and reports.

Herefordshire’s aim is to use the solution for all documents and advance their electronic document transfer procedures across different areas. PCTI’s Docman EDT is scalable for future requirements, which can allow Secondary care to send all clinical correspondence this way.