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Sheffield CCG’s Hallam and South Commissioning (HASC) locality

“It’s much easier for secretaries to book the right clinics. They don’t have to check with the GP first and there are fewer cancelled appointments and queries as a result.” Gordon Osborne Interim Locality Manager, HASC

GP practices in Sheffield CCG’s Hallam and South Commissioning (HASC) locality are benefiting from improved efficiency and easier Choose and Book referrals, thanks to Lexacom Digital Dictation.

With half of the 26 GP practices still using analogue tape dictation systems, HASC knew there was an opportunity to improve efficiency by funding the roll out of a consistent standard of digital dictation across its practices.

As well as recognising the benefits of digital dictation in speeding up patient referral times and freeing up time for doctors and admin staff, HASC was keen to explore opportunities to increase take up of the Choose and Book system.

Interim Locality Manager, Gordon Osborne, said: “Our practices tell us that one of the main obstacles with the Choose and Book system is that it is designed for clinicians rather than admin staff. With pressure on GPs’ time, it often falls to secretaries to make the bookings. However, the dropdown options for specialty and clinic type are complex and it’s difficult to know which to select.”

Finding a way to plug the gap between dictating a referral letter and the Choose and Book system was a key criteria in HASC’s tendering process for a digital dictation system.

“Lexacom was prepared to adapt its software to meet our needs and they also provided the most cost effective option,” said Gordon.

The team at Lexacom created a mandatory Choose and Book dropdown menu for HASC, so that GPs have to select the relevant categories at the time of dictation. “It’s much easier for secretaries to book the right clinics. They don’t have to check with the GP first and there are fewer cancelled appointments and queries as a result,” Gordon added.

As well as the Choose and Book features, Lexacom has the potential to have a wider impact on practice efficiency and patient safety. “With real time reporting, there is the potential to understand referring patterns, which has enormous advantages when planning services and staffing,” said Gordon. “With patient information saved on a secure server, eliminating the risk of losing tapes, it is a much safer system,” Gordon concluded.

Lexacom is being rolled out to 22 practices that signed up for the new system. As the only digital dictation software approved by EMIS, Vision and SystmOne, Lexacom will integrate with whichever system Sheffield practices use, ensuring accurate patient data is always included in the dictation.

One practice already making use of Lexacom with the added Choose and Book feature is the Meadowhead Group Practice.

Practice Manager Elaine Rissbrook said: “Our secretaries are delighted with Lexacom. It is really easy to use and the fact that it works so well alongside Choose and Book means our secretaries can get on with making appointments accurately and without any delay.”

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