100,000 patient records sent by new e-Document management system

A new e-Document management system has now sent more than 100,000 patient records ‘from lab to doctor’ across Scotland’s regional NHS boards.

The Docman system – already widely used by GP practices to manage patient data – has been further developed to allow hospital test results to be transmitted directly onto GPs’ computer screens.

The system – developed by PCTI and managed in Scotland by Kilmarnock-based Microtech– cuts down on unnecessary paperwork, administration and reduces delay between testing and diagnosis.

Data is managed securely across the NHS’s N3 network – which has 3 million end users and more than 40,000 connections in England and Scotland.

Natalie Berry, Project Manager at Microtech, explains: “In a GP practice at the moment paper records are all being manually scanned in, which takes time. Whereas with the electronic document management system, the hospital can send the data directly, and it’s a lot more secure as well, compared to sending a letter by mail.

“It’s also a lot faster; you don’t have to wait days or up to a week. The lab result will integrate automatically into the Docman system unlike an email attachment where it would have to be retrieved and then saved in the appropriate location.”

She adds: “We’re really pushing this system so that every practice can become paper-free; that’s the aim of the game. It’s being rolled out now and we’re at the beginning. But we’ve already sent more than 100,000 documents.”

The system has been rolled out to all health boards in Scotland, excepting NHS Borders and NHS Dumfries & Galloway, with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS Tayside the biggest users.

Letters are received electronically from hospitals into Docman’s workflow engine and filed into the clinical system. Benefits include zero scanning, auto-patient matching, pre-populated filing fields and significantly improved document processing time.