Scotland’s goal of paperless correspondence between hospitals and GPs has moved one step closer with a deal to roll out PCTI’s EDT Hub nationally.
NHS Scotland announced yesterday that it had agreed the national deployment of EDT Hub to enable all Scottish hospitals to send patient letters and results electronically to GPs.
More than 10m letters are sent each year between hospitals and GPs at an average cost of £1 each, including staff time, production and delivery costs.
NHS National Services Scotland’s national information systems group director Andy Robertson told eHealth Insider the deal was part of Scotland’s core IT strategy goal of achieving efficiency gains.
He said the elimination of paper transactions was a “big big area of savings.” He also said demand for a hub had come from the “bottom-up” as the country’s health boards wanted a smoother, more robust system for the movement of electronic information between different parts of the NHS.
PCTI’s Docman electronic document management system was rolled out to all GPs in Scotland about seven years ago and had been a “real success”, Robertson said.
“EDT Hub is a natural progression, providing an end-to-end solution to manage electronic correspondence between hospitals and GPs,” he added.
PCTI Solutions managing director Ric Thompson said he expected to have the hub rolled out to more than half of Scotland’s health boards by the end of the year.
He said the business case for switching from paper transfers was “compelling” as it saved money and improved patient care.
“Our agreement is for there to be in excess of 40m electronic documents to be sent within the next four years,” he said.
Dr Beena Raschkes, GP and joint clinical IT lead for NHS Tayside said Tayside was one of the first sites to start using EDT Hub.
“The Hub has meant that I can get access to patients’ hospital letters hours after their hospital appointment which means there is no more time wasted with my patient consultation due to me not having the right information,” she said.
“Also, through the audit trail, we can now be sure that the right patient information is getting to the right place at the right time.”
© 2011 EHealth Media.
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