Introduction In most UK hospitals, clinical episodes are recorded with a letter sent to the referring general practitioners (GPs). This requires dictation, typing, proof-reading, correction, printing, sign-off and posting. We have used a mind map template to record the patient journey. We evaluated the GP responses to these Easy View Care Maps (EVCMs) and the cost comparison with the traditional GP letter.
Methods An EVCM was prepared by a secretary using information available from the GP referral. The draft EVCM was available for the clinician to complete during the consultation with the patient. Three completed EVCMs were printed: one to be incorporated into the patient's notes; the second to be given to the patient; and a third copy posted to the GP. At follow-up, the EVCM was modified to reflect results. GP responses to EVCMs were sought by a postal questionnaire sent to 266 GPs. A comparative cost analysis was performed.
Results Over 10 months, 568 EVCMs were used as the sole source of information recorded for the hospital file, patient and GP. The mean turnaround time for a dictated letter is 5.2 days while EVCM generation is immediate. Ninety per cent of GPs reported that they received the necessary information with 71% indicating acceptance as an alternative to the traditional letter. Net annual departmental saving was £31 344.
Conclusions EVCMs offer a new visual representation of the patient's journey. They are easy to follow and expose the clinician's thought processes. They provide an intuitive record at low cost.
- Assistive Technology
- Global Health
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