Over 9 million referrals are made by general practice to hospitals every year that trigger £15billion in annual spend (McKinsey 2009). Two years ago, The King's Fund1 reviewed the many approaches to referral management and clearly identified that a peer review referral vetting process could reduce referrals by 30% and also improve the quality.
Docman Collaborator, the latest solution from PCTI, enables healthcare organisations to manage, share and discuss matters relating to patients or the running of the organisation within a secure platform. The solution can be used within an organisation or across organisations to facilitate collaboration, information sharing and improved audited decision making. PCTI reports that of the practices moving to the Docman Collaborator platform, one use case is where practices are using the solution for their referral peer review process.
Marg Robinson, Data Quality & IT Manager, Sandy Lane Surgery, “We previously used emails, patient notes and meetings to collaborate in our practice. Rather than passing paper around or emails that can get lost, we are really keen on Collaborator to provide a fully audited system to save a lot of time that was wasted trying to manage these processes.”
“The practice will use Collaborator primarily for clinical benefits; a GP can open a discussion in Collaborator with another GP, say if a GP has a specialty in dermatology, then they can discuss and review the referral. The discussion is then saved back to the patient with an easy to view audit trail of who has commented and what the result was.”
“We will also use Collaborator for administration purposes, such as to discuss significant events with the GPs or to save having a meeting that we could easily discuss within Collaborator. I can add participants into a discussion see who has read and commented and know that nothing will get lost.”
PCTI reports that of the practices using Docman Collaborator, a referral review process is just one use case, Ian Moody, Director of Product Strategy “There is evidence that Practices adopting an internal peer review model of referrals by Doctors have seen a sustained reduction of over 25% in the number of inappropriate referrals, by making better use of local knowledge and skills. While Docman Collaborator can be used in a variety of ways to support practices, we are pleased that it can have an immediate impact in supporting commissioning efficiencies.
“Docman Collaborator offers a simple way to support the peer review process as referrals linked to the patient record can be added to a discussion along with supporting best practice information to ensure an audited dialogue around the decision making processes. As each referral discussion is audited, it will also support on-going quality reviews and continuing professional development for members of the practice by providing evidence for professional learning.”
“Where Referral Management Centres are preferred locally, our Community Collaborator platform is well placed to streamline and support processes, within one audited system.”