Transfer of Care is a crucial issue for the NHS. Not only is it an NHS contract requirement that can see Trusts penalised 1% of their turnover if they fail to meet it, but it is fundamentally about patient care. With a hectic paramedic handover into urgent care and 4-hour waiting times increasingly becoming the norm, we could be forgiven for thinking this is just the reality of a cash-strapped, over-stretched NHS.
Does it have to be, though? Why are paramedics forced to write notes on the backs of their gloves to ensure they don’t forget vital information during a handover? Why do doctors have to sit at a computer typing up reams of information before they can electronically hand over care, either to the in-patient department or discharge their patient back to the GP’s care?
These are all good questions, but the answer is very simple: fit-for-purpose informatics. But what does that mean?
Thanks to advancements in speech recognition and mobile technologies, notes can now be taken hands free in even the most remote, noisy environments. Systems can be integrated together so that when a patient is ready for a transfer of care, any or all of the related correspondence/documentation can be completed automatically. If these can be done in real time at point of care, there will no longer be a need for healthcare professionals to try to remember what was said or to look for scraps of notes – in other words, correspondence processes are simple and smooth, taking the stress away and allowing healthcare professionals to concentrate on providing care to their patients. With quick turnarounds meeting the government’s required performance indicators, but more importantly the transfer of care being done immediately, a patient can rest assured that the next clinician in the care pathway will have accurate information as and when they need it.
Through innovation and collaboration, companies such as G2 Speech are at the forefront of a system that meets the modern challenges of the NHS on accuracy, value for money, improved patient flow and increased usage of NHS services.
G2 Speech’s platform, SpeechReport, includes four key elements which can optimise the Transfer of Care process:
Speech recognition allows paramedics to take notes during triage. These dictated notes immediately appear as transcribed and are saved in a specific document or record.
A seamless integration between different clinical systems and patient flows results in a quicker handover, as information can be transferred back and forth very quickly between systems. Information can automatically be distributed back to the GP (via GP Connect) or to other clinical providers (via Care Connect), or be integrated into a hospital’s/Trust’s clinical systems.
Structured reports (such as eDischarge summaries)
The platform has the ability to drastically reduce the time spent drafting A&E paperwork through the use of structured reports and clinical coding. When ready to discharge a patient, a healthcare professionals can select the correct template, which is automatically pre-populated with information extracted from previous patient letters and documents, and fill in the report using speech recognition and pre-defined fields. Codes such as SNOMED CT, ICD-10 and RadLex can also be automatically added.
In an in-patient department, with the use of our mobile application, a patient’s wristband can be scanned (meeting the ‘Scan4Safety’ requirements) to allow for a dictation relating to this particular patient to be done at bedside; the document is available for a secretary before the ward rounds are even completed.
Which measures are you taking to improve Transfer of Care at your hospital? Please share your experiences below, or to ask any questions you wish to discover more on how our solution can assist in improving clinical and administrative processes.