The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust utilise Docman RMS to electronically workflow, manage and track all referrals. The Trust has also deployed Docman Hub to send discharge summaries and letters digitally to GP Practices.
Managing incoming referrals that are received in differing ways can be a challenging and time consuming process. Letters may arrive into an organisation as a hard copy document, email, Choose and Book or by fax, adding to the complexity of managing this process. Documents arrive into the Trust in a variety of ways and create a huge workload for administration professionals. Letters need to be sorted and transferred to a Clinicians in-tray, where is it time consuming and difficult to track where documents are in the process. The referral letter is then passed on to the relevant person or department to action. Patients may call the hospital for an update on their referral and the hospital may not be able to tell them where the letter is or whether they have received it.
By using Docman RMS to streamline the management of referrals, the Trust can see exactly where a referral is in the process and respond to queries instantly. The ability to report on referrals can ensure that they are processed within 24 hours to alleviate the pressures that occur with urgent referrals. As a result with the electronic system, the Trust spends less time manually handling paper and passing paper between teams. This will save administrators and clinicians time passing paper around the Trust. The Trust is now accountable for 100% of their referrals with the knowledge that each letter can be tracked and stored securely.
From receipt of referral, the letter is electronically workflowed to the relevant department, where a clinician can onscreen highlight, comment and note actions for the referral before it is routed to a booking team or medical secretary. The process is underpinned by an intuitive one-click workflow philosophy and a comprehensive audit trail to view where the referral is in the process and the actions taken. The availability of information on referrals has assisted the organisation in driving improved patient services and communication.
Jayne Harper, Patient Access Manager, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust “The project has ensured our “vetting” process for referrals is improved, and unnecessary delays are avoided which in turn reduces the referral booking time. This ultimately improved the patient experience as the time from receipt of referral to booking of the first appointment has reduced.
The internal stakeholders’ experience of the Trusts referral system has improved by streamlining the process and procedures within the vetting cycle to reduce the number of handoffs and duplication of effort.
The Electronic capture of referrals and electronic distribution has reduced the number of “missing” referrals and requests for “resends”. It has also give a more standardised referral management approach.”
Kevin D’Arcy, Head of ICT Project Management & Assurance, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
“The main objective of the project was to ensure our processes are effective and efficient. The solution means patients get their appointments as quickly as possible and that Consultants will be able to read and process their referral letters in an organised and timely fashion.”
“Our old process for managing referrals did not work for us, which made us have to create numerous workarounds. Our Consultants were unhappy with the speed of the old process and the system inefficiencies. Docman RMS provided the platform for a slicker, intuitive system to solve our problems and improve our process.”
“The benefits of a streamlined system are compelling; staff have greater job satisfaction, Consultants will have quick access to their referral letters and be able to read and indicate the type of appointment or test that needs to be booked. In result, patients get an appointment quickly with the right consultant in the right clinic.”
The Trust also utilise Docman Hub to send clinical correspondence electronically to provide a joined-up electronic process between care providers. The Docman Hub solution is used by over 120 Trusts to save time and money through the electronic transfer of documentation.
The innovative electronic document transfer project was part of the Trust’s strategy to become completely electronic, paper-light and to meet the 24 hour discharge summary turnaround target.
GP practices using Docman to receive these letters benefit from maximum time savings. The documents arrive into Docman with attached meta-data, the information required to file the document. This information is pre-populated in to the filing fields so the administrator doesn’t need to manually pick the information from the letter.
This process is estimated to save administrators up to 50 seconds per letter; meaning up to an hour of staff time can be saved daily for a GP practice. The intelligent workflow tools within Docman enable a streamlined one click workflow philosophy to further save time in processing documents around the practice.
EDT is able to collect from multiple message streams enabling practices to receive from multiple document sources in the same Trust or from neighbouring Trusts. No matter how many streams a practice collects from, all documents are delivered into Docman. This is convenient both in practical terms for the clinician and from an audit/clinical governance point of view.