Mental Health Trust reports efficiencies by sending patient letters electronically

Mental Health Trust reports efficiencies by sending patient letters electronically

Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust implemented EDT Hub to transfer patient letters electronically to GP practices. EDT Hub is utilised with RiO to send patient letters electronically to 38 practices in Camden.

The project is currently sending many types of documents to GP’s including discharge summaries, admission summaries, leaving plans, CPA reviews and clinic letters.

The implementation of Docman has provided the:

Ability to send patient letters electronically direct to GPs

  • Facility to improve communications with GPs
  • Reduced paper communication and associated costs
  • Safer transfer of patient information
  • Reduced reliance on fax machines to communicate information

The process

Ali Perry, Business Transformation and Project Manager “We aimed to streamline the process for how we communicate with GPs. There was no formal method across our organisation for sending information to GPs so one solution to transfer everything was ideal.”

“The pilot objective was to communicate discharge summaries via EDT Hub. As discharge summaries make up only a small portion of what we send to GPs the scope was extended after the pilot to include all documents currently sent to GPs. We wanted to be able to send everything electronically to GP practices. Before using the Hub our organisation would send information by email, fax and through the post to practices which we estimated to cost £1.20 per letter. By transferring letters electronically the postal, stationary, ink, printing and some admin costs can be removed."

“Although the level of integration with RiO (Core EPR) is confined by the national programme the Trust have worked closely with PCTI to ensure the process of producing and sending documents is as lean as possible for the user. The streamlined process is reflected in the high number of documents sent via Docman and overall good compliance in teams.  As part of the project we standardised and improved the quality of the letter templates on RiO to contain the information stakeholders wanted. The use of these templates has risen dramatically since the project went live. Staff have fed back that these templates reduce typing and save time. This combined with improved standardisation have been the indirect benefits of Docman.”


“By sending documents electronically we have improved data quality, saved time and ensured a structured process for sending documents to GP practices. We have improved communication with GPs and now have proof of sending documents to GPs. The transfer of the information over the secure N3 network has ensured patient safety and provides us with the knowledge that nothing will get lost. Information sent electronically is easier to read, sent in desired timescales and streamline many processes in our organisations and the practices.”

“GP feedback has been positive as the data they receive is more manageable to integrate with their existing system. Documents are delivered directly into Docman and are processed in the usual workflow process. We now aim to connect a further 9 neighbouring practices to the Hub and to deploy to Islington GPs.”

The trust has seen benefits:

Time in hours from discharge to sending the document

  • Improvements in GP and end user experience from the positive views of the new process
  • Reduction in costs of removing the sending of a physical letter
  • Safer transfer of patient information
  • Standardised document templates and communications

How it works

Electronic documents are delivered to GP Practices utilising the EDT Hub platform to deliver documents into the centre of GP processes. Encompassing minimal user intervention, GP Practices benefit from automation tools within the software. The documents are tagged with meta-data to enable the GP Practice to auto file the documents instantly, without manually selecting filing details.

GP Practice staff will be able to view the document with one mouse click using Docman, and the document can be workflowed around the Practice for clinicians to comment, review, highlight, action and read code. With a couple of mouse clicks, the document can be actioned by the Practice.

Ali Perry, Business Transformation and Project Manager, Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust