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Daisy Hill Hospitals has introduced a new electronic way to send important patient information to GPs much more quickly.

The Southern Trust was the first in Northern Ireland to introduce an electronic system to improve safety and timeliness of discharging patients from its acute hospitals. The system has now been developed further, to generate immediate patient discharge letters which are sent directly to GPs.

Mark Toal, Head of Technology Innovation for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust explains how this is a huge benefit for administration:  “Our administrative team creates over 25,000 patient information letters each month including outpatient clinic appointments, results or detailed discharge letters which are sent to GPs. Previously these had to be posted, which was time consuming, could lead to delays in GPs receiving results and there was always a risk of letters getting lost in the post.

“The new system now transfers the discharge information immediately to the GP, significantly reducing time delays, providing a full delivery trail and reducing printing costs.”

The Southern Trust has introduced a new electronic system to improve safety and timeliness when discharging patients from Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals.  Pictured demonstrating the system are Collette McCaul, Service Administrator, Dr Rose McCullagh, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care, Katherine Robinson, Booking and Contact Centre Manager, Mark Toal, Head of Technology Innovation and Bridin O’Hare, IT System Support Officer.
The Southern Trust has introduced a new electronic system to improve safety and timeliness when discharging patients from Daisy Hill and Craigavon hospitals. Pictured demonstrating the system are Collette McCaul, Service Administrator, Dr Rose McCullagh, Associate Medical Director for Primary Care, Katherine Robinson, Booking and Contact Centre Manager, Mark Toal, Head of Technology Innovation and Bridin O’Hare, IT System Support Officer.

The electronic discharge letter is also a real improvement in terms of patient safety as Rose McCullagh Southern Trust Associate Medical Director for Primary Care says:

“Since it was originally introduced, the E discharge system has continually been improving the accuracy and quality of information that GPs receive. The automatic discharge letter is another much welcome development in the interests of patient safety by improving the transfer of information between hospital and primary care.

“GPs are now aware of changes to medication or any follow up required for their patients in a more timely way so we can improve their ongoing care in the community. The medication section clearly outlines the prescription on discharge and any reasons for these changes. The electronic format greatly reduces the risk of error in interpreting discharge information and it is now available as soon as the patient leaves hospital, helping to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.”

Patients also continue to receive a paper copy of the discharge letter for their own information but will be glad to know that they no longer will have to deliver a copy to their GP.

Craigavon Hospital has also signed up to the system.

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