The surgery implemented Docman over a year ago which was centrally funded under the new GPSoC framework as part of their strategy to become paper light. The practice use Docman alongside their EMIS Web clinical system. The Practice Manager Tracy Dell was very excited about how Intellisense and EDT (Electronic Document Transfer) modules of Docman GP would radically speed up their processes and increase the level of accuracy when managing and filing patient letters. The surgery also uses BackOffice for more efficient management of their non-clinical documents, such as policies and procedures.
Filing patient letters
EDT allows the practice to automatically receive patient letters electronically from Calderdale Royal Hospital. Tracey told us about her previously lengthy process. ‘Before we had to manually extract the documents from a folder, search for the patient file, add the description information and then file the letter into our clinical system.’ Now all electronic documents are collected automatically and are ready for filing.
‘The ease of which letters can be actioned by staff in the practice by using Quick Steps means there is less manual input and reduces the clicks required by GP’s to process documents. It means our GPs can spend more time on seeing patients than processing letters.’
Tracey Dell, Practice Manager
Once any other letters are scanned in, Intellisense, a filing and clinical Read Coding software matches the patient and extracts the description information for filing. Tracey states Intellisense has ‘saved the practice hours of time each week and has resulted in a marked improvement in data accuracy.’ In addition, Docman has a duplicate check which draws attention to any letter which has previously been scanned in or received electronically before being processed again, saving GPs and all practice staff valuable time by ensuring it’s not wasted by managing duplicate letters.
Intellisense is also being used to summarise patient letters. ‘The simple and effective design of the software means our coders can quickly identify if patients have previously been diagnosed with any conditions or procedures mentioned in the letter. This alone saves a huge amount of time, not to mention the improved accuracy helping our QOF score.’
Creating more time with patients for GPs
The practice is also using the iWorkflow functionality to send letters easily and instantly around the practice. The GPs are able to highlight and annotate letters and action them with one click by using Quick Steps and predefined workflow routes which are personalised and tailored to the practice. ‘The ease of which letters can be actioned by staff in the practice by using Quick Steps means there is less manual input and reduces the clicks required by GP’s to process documents. It means our GPs can spend more time on seeing patients than processing letters.’
iWorkflow templates also allow the practice to route certain types of letters to be processed by GPs in a timely manner. ‘We’ve created specific workflows for letters relating to unplanned admissions and for patients over 75 which the GPs will action before other letters, making sure our most vulnerable patients are getting our attention first.’
The clear and concise audit trail surrounding each document also benefits the practice by knowing where every letter is, what actions have been taken and by which member of the team. ‘There’s no time wasting in trying to find any documents or see who is working on them. This is vital when discussing any outcomes of important letters with patients.’
Managing non-clinical documents
Plane Trees have recently started to use Docman BackOffice, a library functionality to help manage non-clinical documents. Tracey describes how BackOffice is used in their practice as ‘brilliant for storing policies, protocols and procedures.’ ‘From the Library we can workflow these to all staff required to view them. These used to be stored on our shared drive in the practice which proved difficult to locate and access. The Docman library is so simple to use and to find documents. When we file non-clinical documents we can add multiple tag words so there’s no excuses for not being able to find the document you’re looking for! The best part is Docman keeps an audit trail of who has viewed these documents so if I need to provide evidence, I can show the document in the library.’
Docman has helped the practice to transform into a paper light surgery by streamlining their document management processes. Through using the various modules of Docman on offer, practice staff and GPs are spending less time managing patient letters and have more time to focus on patient care, which can only be beneficial for the practice and patients as a whole.