Wednesday, 15 January 2014

No More Stuffing Envelopes!

CFH Commercial Director Jon Marsh handing over a cheque for £1000 to Chadsfield, for placing Docmail's one millionth order last year.

The Chadsfield Medical Practice in Stockport is a family-friendly practice with five GP partners and over 7,000 patients, serving the local communities of Romiley, Bredbury, Woodley, Compstall and Marple. 

It is also one of a growing number of medical practices in the UK to embrace the use of hybrid mail for sending important correspondence to patients.

Hybrid mail is the term used to describe a new generation of mail service – one that combines physical mail with electronic delivery. 

This hybrid mail solution allows medical practices of all sizes to benefit from savings in administrative time and postage costs. Not only is it faster and more cost-effective, crucially, it’s more secure, and relieves the labour intensive task of a manual postal mailing.

Practice administrator Sara Mayer knows only too well how intensive this task can be, and has consequently made the switch to a hybrid mail approach at Chadsfield practice. “Put simply, it’s quick, easy, and has definitely saved the practice money, as well as helping us become more efficient. We rely on it so much now, and we’ve never been let down” she says.

How does hybrid mail work? Its simple.  You write, print and post personalised correspondence through a secure online portal. All that’s required is to compose the letter, select the recipients from a personalised address database, and the system does the rest, with just a few clicks.  Docmail has an extremely high success rate with its medical practice clients – of which it has over 1,500,  leaving practices satisfied and safe in the knowledge that the letter will arrive safely, but with much less hassle. 

The Chadsfield Medical Practice uses the Docmail Print Driver which works seamlessly with its EMIS Web patient administration software, which also allows the practice to update patient records with a copy of each item of correspondence.

Sara is responsible for the practice’s QOF mailings, and has found Docmail particularly useful for sending regular patient reminders for review appointments, such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, and hypertension.  She sends out letters each week in batches of anything from ten to 50 at a time – although the system will allow a range of just a single letter to thousands at a time.   

Sara remembers what a huge undertaking this used to be: 

“Prior to using Docmail, I would print the letters off myself, stuff the envelopes, and stick on a second class stamp. That’s all so time consuming when we are always very busy and our patient number are continually growing.  Coming into the practice from my previous job in a paperless office, it was quite a shock to see how much paper – not to mention printer toner - was being used – so I was naturally delighted to make the switch.

“It’s a straightforward and intuitive process to pick up, but there is a really helpful support team on hand if and when you get stuck. We have been able to uploaded our practice letterhead to the system, so our letters go out fully branded, and don’t look any different compared to before.

Sara has worked out that she’s saved over 35% on stamps since using Docmail, plus extra savings on paper, toner and envelopes, as well as her valuable time. 
She continues, “We get a good response from our patients when we send them reminders by post, although we do also use text reminders and telephone calls for some patients. However, many of our patients are elderly and don’t use mobile phones – so letters are most definitely the preferred method of communication for their needs.

Of course, patient confidentiality is a priority for medical practices, so security and safety of data is always a factor for practices when considering these new methods and solutions. For Chadsfield Medical Practice, it was no different, and Sara was impressed to find that Docmail’s credentials stacked up. Not only are they the only organisation in the UK to achieve a 100% rating in the Department of Health's Information Governance Toolkit Assessment, but they also have accreditation standard BSI ISO 27001 for Information Security Management System, and ensure compliance with the NHS Data Protection requirements via a signed Data Processing Agreement with all its medical practice clients. 

“There are a number of reasons other practices should make the switch to hybrid mail – we have definitely seen reduced costs, we don’t need to pre-plan the buying of stamps, and a big plus – no more folding paper and stuffing envelopes! For those larger mailings, it saves so much time, and you can just move on the next job of the day, knowing that the printing and mailing will be taken care of, in a safe and secure way. ”

Speaking about the benefits for GP practices, Dave Broadway, Managing Director of CFH Docmail, comments:

“Docmail is a hugely innovative development and is the way forward for practices who want to save time and money in their patient communications, whilst maintaining the highest standards of patient care and data security. We are proud to be helping medical practices, like Chadsfield, make the most of their limited time and budgets, and offer a service that they can rely on and trust.

“Docmail can make life considerably easier for practices at a time when everyone is under immense time and budget pressures.  Staff can compile their bespoke patient correspondence via the secure portal and with the click of a mouse, action, print and post at less than the cost of a second class stamp.”