A Surrey project giving GP practices instant access to patient reports at a local hospital has led to "improved relationships" with the practices involved, the trust's IT head has claimed.
A joint project between Surrey PCT and Ashford and St Peter′s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has used an electronic document transfer (EDT) hub to deliver patient documentation from the hospital to 69 GP practices in Surrey and 31 neighbouring GP practices.
The EDT hub is currently sending all inpatient discharge summaries, A&E daily reports and all clinical correspondence to the practices, in response to a requirement for timely delivery of patient documentation to GPs.
The trust has sent 85,000 documents electronically, and claims this has led to savings of £20,000 in administration costs, with projected further savings of £84,000 over the next 12 months.
Laura Ellis-Philip, Head of IT at the trust, said, "The EDT project has made a significant impact for the trust to achieve the efficiency targets as set out in the Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) guide.
"Documents are available to GP practices as soon as they are filed electronically within the trust, ensuring that our GPs have the most up-to-date information regarding their patients. This in turn feeds directly into having the appropriate care plan for each patient.
"When documents are delivered into the practice an electronic workflow identifies the key information within the document and attaches it to the appropriate patient record. This in turn enables the patient′s document to be available anywhere in the practice."
She added: "The project has been a real success with excellent feedback from our GP practices. The practices are asking for more documents to be sent electronically.
"This project has resulted in improved relationships with the GP practices in the area and has been a very successful innovation."
The trust estimates it will send 190,000 electronic documents in the next year.