The NHS is facing some of the biggest challenges in recent history. Under pressure to carve out £22bn of efficiency savings by 2020, making cost improvements is a top priority for every NHS trust.
Documation Software is helping one trust use innovative software to deliver transformational change in its patient referral process. With hundreds of patient referrals landing in its overstretched outpatient team’s in-trays and inboxes each day, the trust wanted to find ways to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its complex referral and appointment booking process.
Bogged down by inefficient processes that required duplicate data entry and the need to print and then scan referral emails received electronically, staff were also hampered by error-prone tasks such as manual indexing, in which users enter vital data such as the patient’s name and date of birth. Making assessments as simple as possible for busy consultants was also a priority. In addition to the capture of paper-based referrals through scanning, the new solution collates electronic attachments received on emails into an at-a-glance format that helps consultants triage patients appropriately and efficiently.
Other key features of Documation’s solution include eliminating the need for outpatient users to input duplicate data into the patient administrative and management systems, thus improving overall productivity. Electronic emails are now also automatically captured and routed to a dedicated work queue, rather than printed and scanned. This upgrade enables outpatient users to review the document, register it within the patient administration system, capture the patient’s unique Referral ID it generates into the referral management system with ease and then forward the referral to the appropriate speciality consultant via online workflow.
By reducing the steps involved in referrals and tightening up the process, the booking team has also been able to extend patient administration system reporting, reduce delays to patient care and even enhance the patient experience and outcome by ensuring patients are promptly triaged and get the right care. The efficiency improvements also help the trust meet their referral to treatment (RTT) pledge and other compliance requirements. Job satisfaction and staff morale within the outpatient booking team has also improved.