Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has begun rolling-out an in-house document management system to the 57 primary care trusts in its area.

The system, known as Advantis, is already generating more than 1,700 documents per day, which can be delivered in real-time or on a scheduled basis directly to GPs.

The service allows all discharge summaries, out patient letters, results, and advice letters to be delivered to GPs in pdf format.

Ian Curr, assistant director of ICT, who developed the system, told E-Health Insider: “We already did all our clinical correspondence online, so it just seemed a natural progression to send the documents electronically to the GP.”

The trust piloted the system between March and April this year. According to Curr, during the pilot the need for scanning was reduced and the whole process became more efficient. Each document included additional data to identify the patient, consultant and sending department.

Curr said: “During the pilot, we worked with two practices, which helped us fine tune the system to make the transfer more efficient.

“One primary care trust wanted to receive the documents as a Tiff rather than a pdf, so we made that happen. We also filtered out document types that were not useful to GPs.”

The documents that are completed and marked as published in Advantis are sent to a holding location, where they can be collected by the GP document management system, Docman EDT, supplied and installed by software company PCTI.

If the practice has PCTI’s document management system, there is further functionality including the ability to annotate and filter documents.

“The system means that there is much less work to do on the trust and at the GP side. The quality of the documents is much better and there is much speedier delivery as it’s just like online banking for letters.”

Curr added: “Some of the letters are transferred in real-time, however e-discharges are done at night as there needs to be a cooling-off period in case details get changed at the last minute, so they are sent 8-9pm.”

The trust has now reached an agreement to use the system with several PCTs. However, it has held off any further roll-out until a financial agreement has been finalised with NHS Stockport, which will be funding the district wide deployment.

Curr said the trust welcomed others to come and view what they are doing. “Although we have no plans to sell Advantis/EDT at this time, other NHS trusts are welcome to see our approach and review the underlying processes and technologies.”


Stockport NHS Foundation Trust EDT