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Scottish GPs to receive all hospital documents electronically

Scottish GPs are looking forward to an end to the hospital paperwork deluge under a major new IT deal announced by the Scottish Government.

The NHS in Scotland has agreed the national deployment of an Electronic Document Transfer Hub from IT firm PCTI Solutions. The system will send hospital communications directly into the Docman electronic document management and workflow tool already used by GPs.

GPs in Scotland currently receive more than 10 million patient letters and results in paper form each year, all of which will be sent electronically under the new initiative, which will be deployed across half the country’s health boards within the next six months.

It comes after a survey last week found that practices across the UK receive an average of 370 clinical documents per week, with a third being sent in excess of 500 per week.

Dr Alan McDevitt, GPC Scotland deputy chair and IT lead, said: ‘It will entail a cultural change in hospitals but because the benefits are so high, everyone will push for it.’

‘Doing everything by paper takes up staff time and things get lost in the post. It may not turn out to be as grand as it sounds but it should speed up the time it takes for us to receive discharge and clinic notes and it´s safe, secure and effective.’