e-Discharge software speeds up GP summaries


Cheshire mental health service latest to deploy Medisec solution

East Cheshire Adult Mental Health Inpatient Services is using Medisec Software’s MedisecNET system to deliver electronic discharge summaries to GP surgeries within 24 hours of a patient leaving hospital.

Following the deployment, the average time spent by administration staff sending discharge summaries has been cut dramatically to just over one day, compared to well over a week by traditional manual methods. Now, 75% of discharge summaries are being delivered within the 24-hour NHS quality target.

Sue Barley, informatics project manager at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the mental health service, said: “Using an electronic delivery system has proved to be a great benefit for the trust; freeing up administration and clinical time, as well as reducing paper and postage.

“More importantly, we are able to meet national standards and achieve contractual targets in respect of discharge notifications. This successful project is one of a number of initiatives that the trust is undertaking to improve communication with GPs.

“One of the quality targets within the commissioner contracts is for GP surgeries to receive discharge summaries within 24 hours of discharge and discharge letters within 10 days of discharge. The use of an electronic solution improves the speed at which the e-Discharge summary is dispatched and received.”

The system has been developed in conjunction with Cheshire ICT, which manages the electronic delivery network for discharge letters for three acute trusts in the area.

Debi Lees, customer service delivery manager at Cheshire ICT, said: “The great thing about the Medisec solution is the fact that the mental health team hasn’t had any large IT outlay as they can simply plug into the existing delivery network.

“The clear audit trail the technology provides also means that both parties can see delivery on service level agreements clearly.”

The digital system is supported by a centralised print function for the rare occasions where a GP might not be able to receive a discharge summary electronically.

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Following the success of the first phase, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is now set to roll out the same technology to East Cheshire Learning Disabilities Inpatient Service, with further deployments also planned.