1. Aim for paper free
In general terms, working with electronic patient documents and data is much more efficient in time and costs than working with paper letters. It presents full audit trails so no chasing lost letters and there are no piles of paper to search through. As well as having more streamlined processes, having no patient letters lying around dramatically reduces any risks of noncompliance with information governance and reduces other associated costs such as ink, paper and hardware.
Practices can also receive patient letters electronically, rather than waiting for letters to be delivered by post. Not only does this make handling the daily amount of patient letters much easier, but also provides a better care service for patients as letters can be actioned much quicker and also tracked for patient enquiries.
2. Use OCR technology
OCR Technology is Optical Character Recognition software which can read documents for you and highlight patient details from within a letter. For example, the software will highlight the patient name, NHS number and date of birth for much faster filing processes. Using this intelligent software can save practice staff 1 minute per document, which is a huge time saving for practices who can receive 100s of documents each day.
3. Have set routines
At the busiest periods for practices, organisation and having set routines is key to keeping on top of the daily tasks and challenges which arise. Having very clear processes for managing patient documents is really important for effective working among colleagues and the best level of care for patients.
The majority of GP practices work in different ways with their own protocols and procedures. Using software which can be personalised and tailored to a practices’ specific needs is vital. Having predefined workflows which have a set route for documents to be sent around a practice to the correct members of staff for actioning reportedly saves GPs 15 minutes per day.