Manchester Hospitals Launch Electronic Link Up With GPs

Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust has launched a unique communications network for exchanging clinical correspondence between GPs and hospitals, guaranteeing the overnight delivery of patient discharge information to GPs.

The software will provide electronic links between all six of the Trust’s hospitals1 and 69 GPs within central and south Manchester – and lay the foundations for Connecting for Health’s integrated future.

Designed by clinical correspondence specialists Medisec Software, the system automatically generates clinic attendance letters, discharge notification forms and discharge summaries for electronic delivery direct to surgeries. Instead of arriving weeks after the patient has left the hospital, discharge information can now be issued and accessed overnight, helping GPs to offer their patients higher standards of after-care.

David Whitehead, Practice Business Manager at West Point Medical Centre in Levenshulme, Manchester explains: “Medisec software has been pivotal in improving the quality and availability of patient information for us.  It’s very popular with administrative staff as it eliminates the need to scan or re-input documents.

“With over 7,000 patients on our books, we estimate that it saves us at least an hour every day.  We’d like to see more hospitals following Central Manchester’s lead and for the Medisec technology to become the national baseline.  As well as saving us time and effort, it directly addresses one of the major ongoing problems in the NHS – that GP practices often do not receive any discharge information about their patients following hospital treatment until weeks after they have left, and sometimes not at all.”

Tom Rothwell, Managing Director of system designers Medisec Software added: “By delivering patient information quickly and securely, the software gives surgeries high quality information at the right time.   A patient can potentially be seen at Manchester Royal Infirmary in the morning and visit his GP for follow-up care the next day and they will be fully up-to-speed with his condition and developments at the hospital.”

GPs can also access patient records securely online, allowing them to check in-patient and out-patient activity – including future out-patient appointments, past clinic attendance notes and out-patient letters – for any of their patients.  Instant access to future hospital appointments helps GPs to ensure that an ill patient will definitely be seen soon enough, and if not, to chase.

Correspondence signed off in the hospital is available to download the next morning to practice systems and then attached to the patient record.  Because the information is delivered electronically, documents can be loaded into practice systems without dual keying or scanning – saving time and avoiding typographical errors.  GPs can view letters individually or download them in bulk for processing. As well as reducing delivery times, the system also means that no letters are lost.

Don Crombie, Clinical Systems Manager at Central Manchester and Manchester Children’s University Hospitals NHS Trust commented: “With 454 staff using the Medisec system to produce around 38,000 letters per month, the technology is helping us to significantly improve the quality and turnaround times of our documents.

“Patient information is immediately accessible to all authorised users throughout the hospitals, which saves time by reducing queries about admissions, discharges and clinic appointments.  With Medisec, we can check how full our clinics are, access a complete history of admissions and appointments and view all future appointments for any patient.”

Notes to Editors

1. Medisec NET software provides two-way electronic links between Manchester Royal Infirmary, Saint Mary’s Hospital for Women & Children, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Booth Hall and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospitals and GPs within central and south Manchester.

2. Following successful pilot trials, the technology has already been installed in 28 GP practices and it is planned to roll it out to a further 41 surgeries.

3. Medisec Software is a specialist systems developer providing clinical correspondence solutions for the health service.

4. The company is unique in supplying the UK’s only two-way communications package, allowing primary and secondary care professionals to exchange better quality patient information, more quickly and efficiently.

5. Medisec products generate patient information documents and communicate them electronically between hospitals, GP surgeries and other health agencies, such as social services.

6. 1,400 healthcare professionals use Medisec products nationwide, with over one million documents generated and transmitted using the software annually.

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