Achieving discharge targets with electronic clinical correspondence

Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust is achieving the government 24 hour discharge summary target by electronically distributing letters to GPs following appointments from A&E, inpatient and outpatient departments.

Facing government targets for the distribution of GP Letters, Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust (Hinchingbrooke) required a solution to speed up the manually laborious process of physically preparing and posting letters to GPs following appointments from A&E, inpatient and outpatient departments.

They implemented our Correspondence Hub solution, which acts as a centralised hub where information from multiple systems can be collated. Using the GP’s email address and a set of templates, an electronic GP letter can be automatically produced and emailed, saving significant time and cost in the production and postage that sending physical letters out would incur.

Gordon Greaves, associate director of IT

“All information can now be submitted within 24 hours”

Gordon Greaves, associated director of IT

Achieving discharge targets

Gordon Greaves, associate director of IT at the trust, commented: “The solution has been a fantastic piece of work that has quickly enabled us to meet our targets – all information can now be submitted within 24 hours, from a process that used to take up to two weeks for letters to get to the GP.

The solution has improved communication with GPs and enhanced information flow, which ultimately contributes towards patient safety by improving the quality and speed of patient data between hospitals and GP surgeries.”

Significant savings

Hinchingbrooke have reduced waste and associated costs of printing and posting letters by two thirds – previously, letters were being printed for the GP, patient and stored in the patient record; now only the patient copy is printed and posted.

Gordon commented: “We’ve saved time, money and improved compliance, patient safety and primary care engagement. We have now configured six separate systems, processing 3000+ documents per day through the correspondence hub which is integrated to our electronic document and record management solution.

"This solution has transformed how we manage clinical correspondence and patient documents, and improved our delivery of care across primary and secondary care settings.”