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Electronic letter system saves GP time

14 August 2013

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More than 18,000 patient letters have been sent to GPs  using an electronic system which aims to integrate clinical correspondence. 

According to St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals Trust, 85% of paper medical clinical correspondence are for patients on local GP lists. 

The trust claims that using the postal system costs between 50p and £1 per letter, which quickly adds up. 

The standardised electronic discharge summary used by St Helens and Knowsley becomes a live document as soon as a patient is admitted to hospital. 

A template has been designed which ensures that GPs receive appropriate information in a “timely and secure” manner. 

Neil Darvill, director of informatics at the trust said: “Feedback from practices is very positive with information being received within 24 hours after an event. A paper process could take two weeks, the document would need to be scanned in and only then it would be available for the GP. 

“By using an electronic process the information is received in a clear format and not handwritten notes. The project has been part of improving communication to the audience and making a positive change to all stakeholders.”