Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust has signed a three-year contract for PCTI’s Docman solution to share information with GPs and as an electronic workflow system for clinical and non-clinical documentation.

Oxleas says it will be the first trust to use Docman for all documentation, both clinical and non-clinical, across the entire organisation.

The trust plans to use Docman to process and track documentation between its 3,500 staff based on 71 sites. It will also use Docman Hub to send and receive clinical and non-clinical documentation to and from 150 GP practices in three clinical commissioning groups.

Laurelle Morgan-Bruce, the trust’s clinical transformation programme manager, told EHI the current method of sending out documents using paper, fax and email is an inefficient way of communicating between multiple sites.

Docman will electronically manage the whole range of the trust’s documentation, including internal post, mental health reports, care plans, documents between directorates, medication reviews, change of medication forms and discharge summaries. It will also be integrated with the trust’s RiO clinical system.

Morgan-Bruce said that Docman will speed up communication both internally and with GPs, as well as saving money on printing and postage costs.

It will also reduce the problem of letters being lost, and enable the trust to check whether and when particular correspondence had been sent, she said.

“It’s all about ensuring that we have good, open communications, using electronic transfer of documentation both externally to GPs and to us, and then around the trust itself, reducing all those risks of not receiving something or something being lost, and making sure we have a full audit trail.”

Morgan-Bruce said the trust’s choice was influenced by the fact that the vast majority of GPs in the area were already using Docman GP, which will make integration straightforward.

“From our point of view it didn't make sense to introduce something that would not get the buy-in from GPs that we needed,” she said.

In the first phase of the trust’s implementation process, it will use Docman to send correspondence to GPs. The second phase, next year, will extend the implementation to correspondence coming in from GPs and the documentation circulating internally.

Docman is already being piloted with some GP practices in Greenwich, and will be implemented throughout the borough by Christmas. The boroughs of Bexley and Bromley will go live in the first quarter of 2015.

Morgan-Bruce said that she thought that in some cases, the Docman implementation will improve quality of care.

“If somebody has been discharged from a ward from us and they need to go to a GP the next day, that information will be at the GP, they won't be waiting around or having to call us up.”

The trust also has plans to extend Docman to local social services departments next year.