HSS Communicator enables hospitals to improve patient safety by speeding up communication between radiology and other departments, including GP surgeries. Communicator enables rapid communication with referrers to ensure patients with critical findings are seen more quickly. An audit trail of messages sent and acknowledgements received is provided. The integrated communications module supports compliance with NPSA safer practice notice 16: “early identification of failure to act on radiological imaging reports”, therefore improving clinical outcomes.
According to an audit on UK hospitals carried out by the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) to find out how many have fail-safe procedures in place to ensure that reports containing critical, urgent or unexpected significant findings get through and are acted on, the RCR found that 12% of hospitals have no agreed policy for alerting GPs and consultants when X-rays or scans show such findings. In addition, of the 154 departments who responded to the survey, only 11 had in place a robust electronic system which ensured doctors were alerted to important results and were checking, through this system, that the results were read and duly acted upon.
The Radiology Department at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust implemented HSS Communicator, to help improve communications between the department, hospital wards and GPs and to support the requirements of national safety standards. Denise Twist, Radiology Governance Lead at St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust says “I would definitely highly recommend Communicator to other hospitals – I am delighted with the way it has improved both process and patient safety. We believe we now have a more robust, safer method of ensuring that these reports are delivered and acted upon in a timely manner“.
Dorset County Hospital (DCH) has been using HSS Communicator since March 2015, for radiology report notification, with very positive usage and feedback. Ian Rowe. Radiology IT Systems Manager at Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust says: “Communicator fulfils a need that we had identified. We are really pleased with it and it is a very good product. It means that anyone who refers to us can be notified of urgent findings immediately. We have seen clinicians acting on the results within minutes of the notifications being sent”.
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