A Staffordshire hospital is using software from clinical correspondence specialist Medisec Software to deliver discharge documents to GPs within 24 hours.

University Hospital of Staffordshire is using an electronic template developed by Medisec Software to gather clinical information during a patient’s hospital stay. 

This is then sent electronically to GP practices across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

The Department of Health wanted to see discharge summaries delivered to GP surgeries within 24 hours from 1 April, 2010, and included the requirement in the national standard contract for hospitals.

However, the latest survey from the NHS Alliance, conducted earlier this year, suggested hospital discharge data had got worse over the last three years. There was new criticism of the content as well as the timeliness of information.

University Hospital of Staffordshire said it had used the Royal College of Physicians standard for quality data to populate the discharge summaries.

It also said these contain all relevant clinical details, from discharge medication and test results to allergies, physical ability and cognitive function.

An audit trail from letter generation to delivery shows how long it takes for individual consultants to generate and issue clinical correspondence.

Rebecca Gallimore, deputy head of ICT at the hospital, said the new system would help the hospital to communicate with GPs and improve patient care.

She added: “Medisec Software worked closely with our clinicians to make sure it is the patients that feel the benefits.”

Tom Rothwell, managing director of Medisec Software, said the software meant GPs get critical information from the hospital overnight.

He added: “With the right patient discharge information at the right time it means that they can look after the needs of patients much better. Surgery staff can transfer the information into their practice systems without any scanning or dual keying, saving valuable time.”

Medisec specialises in clinical correspondence solutions for the health service and the company said its products are currently used by 6,500 healthcare professionals across the UK.