IN September 2009, Scottish IT support and maintenance company, Microtech, installed PCTI Solutions innovative Electronic Document Transfer Hub (EDT) to NHS Tayside as part of NHS Scotland’s national deployment.
EDT allows two-way document transfers such as discharge summaries, outpatient letters and out-of-hours reports between organisations, therefore allowing hospitals to send patient letters and results electronically directly to the patients GP. Typically, the majority of correspondence between hospitals and GPs in the past has been paper, with over ten million items being sent each year, nationally.
NHS Tayside have recently transferred their one millionth document through EDT and are continuing to benefit from the state-of-the-art system that has ultimately improved patient care allowing same day electronic letter delivery, provided important audit information and removed the high costs associated with paper. The overall benefits to patients, clinicians and administrators are vast. Just in terms of cost savings, it is widely understood that an average letter costs the NHS about £1 each – including staff time, production and delivery costs.
Improving the way patient letters are managed is not a new venture for Microtech as a number of years ago Microtech delivered [Docman] the Document Management contract on behalf of PCTI. Which saw all of Scotland’s GPs provided with a sophisticated electronic document management and workflow tool for managing the large volumes of paper patient letters received from Hospitals every day. By using this technology in association with nationally-agreed document standards, the way in which GPs managed clinical correspondence has been transformed.
The EDT solution transfers all letters over the NHS secure network straight into Docman’s electronic workflow, where healthcare professionals can use automation tools to gain faster access to critical patient information, ultimately increasing the whole patient experience.
Lesley McLay, chief operating officer, NHS Tayside, said: “We are now recognising many of the benefits attributed to putting EDT in practice such as improved patient safety, improved patient information quality and cost savings. NHS Tayside are now processing over 150,000 documents a month within eight document sources ranging from the Out of Hours Episodes, Immediate Discharge Letters and Lab Results.”
Chris McMail, MD, Microtech Support Ltd, added: “NHS Tayside were early adopters and a great ambassador for the EDT Hub process. I am delighted that we have reached this milestone and recognise the foresight and diligence that all stakeholders contributed. Clearly, the early hard work has been worth the effort. I am looking forward to seeing the results and benefits continue for NHS Tayside and eager to see what other boards can now achieve on the back of the nationally awarded contract.”
Microtech Support Limited are a professional IT Support and Maintenance Company based in the West of Scotland. Founded in 1986 on-going contracts with NHSScotland have allowed Microtech continual growth in the last few years to become one of the largest Professional IT Support and Maintenance Companies in Scotland. Microtech have over 30 members of staff including a full time fully manned service desk and over 15 field engineers based throughout Scotland.