The Ferns Medical Practice Case Study
The Ferns Medical Practice in Surrey has been enjoying the benefits of Docman for just over one year. In that time they have processed over 34,000 documents using Docman.
Serving 10,000 patients; the practice has 7 partners and is also a Teaching Practice, taking newly qualified GP’s and Students from the local hospitals and universities.
June Jasper reviews Docman
The practice first had Docman installed in 2011 and has since began processing all of their documents using Docman. Receiving approximately 400 letters per week, the practice has made significant time savings by implementing Docman.
June Jasper, Practice Administrator explained the process that patient letters would follow before the practice had Docman. Letters would arrive into the practice through the post and be opened and date stamped. They would then be sorted into A4 folders before being distributed into the doctors’ trays. At various points throughout the day when the doctors’ had time available, they would highlight the letters and hand write actions. The letters would then be passed back to the receptionist to distribute the letters back into the trays of the relevant people and then finally scanned into the patient’s medical record.
“When someone would ask you to find a document, your heart would sink.”
This lengthy process could mean that it could take days to process and action a letter. Hand written notes and paper being physically passed around the practice also meant that the chances of a letter being mislaid were much higher.
“It could be very difficult to locate a letter once it had been distributed around the practice.”
The introduction of Docman has considerably shortened the process, meaning that a letter which could have spent a few days being processed in the old system could be scanned into Docman, workflowed and actioned within “hours rather than days”.
June continued, “With Docman at our fingertips, a job which would have taken hours becomes minutes and documents can be processed within 24 hours.”
“Scanning used to be very time consuming and it was very slow going into the patient record. Docman is excellent because it is there straight away.”
Docman provides a much more reliable format for processing letters. “We no longer have to rely on someone to put the letter in the correct tray and I can involve other doctors without having to make a photocopy of each letter. This instantly provides a cost saving as we are not wasting money reproducing letters and we are also not wasting time searching for them.”
“Even when a doctor is on holiday, we can check their workflow and pass it on to other doctors to make sure nothing gets missed.”
The practice takes a methodical approach to Docman. Two dedicated Docman experts divide the responsibilities and manage their own areas of Docman in order to achieve the best efficiency savings for the practice.
Liz Nurse and June Jasper, Docman experts, manage the main system and are soon to begin the process of ‘Intellisense-ing’ all of their clinical documents.
Liz Nurse manages BackOffice; regularly categorising non-clinical documents and maintaining tags to ensure any document can be quickly and easily retrieved and shared across the practice.
“Liz really gets behind Library; she’s added all her own tags and has been building up all of her own folders for referrals, guides, forms and Read Codes etc.”
The practice have particularly utilised the ‘quick steps’ function of iWorkflow, with each individual user having their own quick steps set up, based on the regular actions that they use.
“We maintain the lists within Docman regularly”. This is an important process to keep Docman as up-to-date as possible and by applying the quick clicks, allows them to be as efficient as possible.
“The quick steps are brilliant!”
‘Scanned into wrong patient’ is a quick step that has been set up at the practice to reduce the clicks taken to alert the correct person that a document has been attached to the wrong patient record. ‘No action required’, ‘forward’ and ‘get an opinion’ are all regularly used to save time.
“iWorkflow benefits the whole practice, not just the admin team; the Doctors really see the benefits too.”
Liz intends to further the practice’s efficiencies by introducing the BackOffice Apps, which will enable digital recording of information such as fridge and room temperatures and birth and death registrations. This will eliminate the logbooks and paper records that they currently use.
An additional benefit to the practice is the added EDT module of Docman, which allows local hospital, Frimley Park to send electronic patient correspondence directly from the hospital into Docman using an EDT Hub. The practice is also able to connect to St Peters Hospital, Chertsey.
“Docman makes life a lot easier!”
“Thanks to Docman we can always tell where a letter is in the system. We no longer need to wait to see if a doctor has read or actioned a letter because it is quickly auditable.”
“Docman has really improved our data quality because it has saved such huge amounts of time that we now have extra time to double check everything and make sure we’re not making any mistakes. This also impacts our patients, as we now have more time available for them.”
“If a mistake is made, the comprehensive audit trail allows us to see where the mistake has been made and correct it. This is a huge benefit to our practice.”
The greatest efficiency for the practice is the time savings that Docman has allowed. “With there being so many doctors, it’s so much easier to just send things around the practice using iWorkflow. That way if we need to know where a letter is, we don’t have to search through 7 different trays before we find it!”
“Docman has made my in-tray hugely lighter!”
Docman has helped to make the Ferns Medical Practice as paper-light as possible. Patient correspondence is stored within Docman and non-clinical documents are tagged and stored within BackOffice.
Liz and June “take Docman one step at a time”; getting to know every area of the system and migrating all of their current documents across, piece by piece.
The overall benefits of Docman enjoyed by the practice are “the cost savings involved with not printing papers to pass around to other people in the practice. We can just use the broadcast button in iWorkflow.”
“Docman has hugely benefitted our paperflow and our scanning technique has drastically improved. It’s great to just have instant access to documents whenever we need them.”
“Docman provides a fail-safe solution”
“Our reception staff and scanning staff all find it very easy and love using it.”
June attended the National Docman User Conference in May 2012, where she enjoyed learning about updates within Docman and our new module, Collaborator.
June Jasper, Practice Administrator, The Ferns Medical Practice