Docman claims to have become the first company to integrate a product with the NHS e-Referral Service (eRS).

The company says integration means that referral and clinical information will be viewed digitally by consultants more easily and in one place.

eRS allows patients to select the timeslot for their first outpatient hospital or clinic appointment and book it in the GP surgery, online or on the phone.

Western Sussex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been using Docman’s RMS since Spring 2018 and is due to be the first customer to go live with the integration.

The first phase, which is due to be introduced ‘by the end of summer’, involves technical integration and accreditation.

Phase two, which is expected to be rolled out later this year, will offer consultants the option to accept, reject or redirect a referral.

Docman provides cloud-based software for managing clinical correspondence electronically.

The company was acquired by Advanced earlier this year as part of the business solution company’s drive for a cloud-first strategy.

Ric Thompson, managing director of health and care at Advanced, said: “We’ve worked extremely closely with NHS Digital to support the digitisation of the referral process and remove the complexity a trust has in receiving and processing referral letters.”

From 1 October, NHS trusts will receive no financial reward for consultant-led first outpatient appointments if the referral was made by paper.