Acute Trust

The Background

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is based at the Royal Preston Hospital, Lancashire. It achieved an “Excellent” rating in the 2008 performance audit for use of resources. PSL Print’s MediDoc Service has achieved savings in excess of £124,000 per annum.

The Situation

Until 2007, when the Trust commenced using PSL Print’s MediDoc Service, the Trust printed and hand inserted speciality leaflets into all their outpatient appointment/inpatient letters in-house. This was a laborious, expensive and time-consuming function for an already busy office. The Trust decided to outsource the work as a complete solution. Ongoing costs relating to maintainance of printing, mail preperation equipment and consumables including printer ribbons were high and needed to be reduced.

The Trust also wanted to enhance the patient letter experience by adding increased font size for different clinics and placing text in bold to reduce DNA’s. They also wanted to place unique telephone numbers and consultant names for specific clinics on each letter.

Reducing staff time was a crucial goal as many levels of staff were involved in some way in producing outgoing mail. PSL Print’s MediDoc Service was chosen above other suppliers to improve the Trusts patient communications as they offered both the technical capability and a cost-effective solution to the Trust’s requirements.

The Requirement

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust wanted a company who could print and despatch up to 2000 outpatient’s letters every working day. Outsourcing their work meant the Trust could provide patients with enhanced letter quality and speciality specific information sheets detailing the clinic they were to attend. PSL Print’s MediDoc Service could also offer the Trust the opportunity to provide Outpatient/Inpatient information booklets to their patients as a selective insert. In particular, outsourcing this work to PSL Print’s MediDoc Service meant these processes could be achieved automatically where previously they would have been undertaken manually.

The Solution

PSL Print’s MediDoc Service worked with the Trust’s IT Department to translate specific data and clinic codings. Additionally, the Trust wished to achieve data transfer electronically direct from the Trust to PSL Print’s MediDoc Service thus reducing the risk of manual error. Today the Outpatients/Inpatients Department transmits the patient data to PSL Print’s MediDoc mail production centre via a secure encrypted SFTP electronic link, all at the click of a button. Within 24 hours of being sent, the letters are printed and are in the post to end recipient all in line with agreed service level agreements.

The Trust uses a flag system whereby a series of clinic codes identifies which letter/information sheet the patient is to receive. Variable data for example, the patient’s name, address and appointment date/time is sent in the data with the code, then run against a ‘Look up Table’ to create the letter. The daily file splits into three streams; 1st and 2nd class and a ‘Return to Trust’ file which is sent back to Trust. The letters are then printed onto plain A4, cut-sheet stationery with the Trust logo scanned on in highlight colour. The letters/information sheets are enveloped with the information sheets, if applicable, into C5 envelopes. The envelopes are also uniquely branded to enhance the Trust’s image. Our unique Mailcare system ensures 100% integrity of data to printed paper and of the final completed mail piece.

The Benefits

Out-sourcing to PSL Print’s MediDoc Service has proved to be a cost-effective and important move for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals. They also receive support from a dedicated Account Manager.

Cost Benefits

By using PSL Print’s MediDoc Service, significant reductions in cost have been realised across many areas of the organisation. Reductions in commodity purchases such as paper, envelopes, toner cartridges and inserts have been all but eliminated. Further savings have been realised in the reduction of capital purchases of printers, mail preperation equipment including associated monthly maintenance leases.

Our ability to deliver advanced postal sortation has meant a reduction of up to 20% off Royal Mail standard 2nd class tariff.

Patient Letter Benefits

PSL Print’s MediDoc Service are highly experienced in developing and improving new and existing customer documents, using a highly flexible document tool, PSL Print’s MediDoc Service assisted Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to improve their letter layout, necessary to give the patients the information they need. Now, when the Trust requires a text change to a letter or information sheet, this can be done quickly and efficiently.

Staff Function Benefits

The PSL Print’s MediDoc Service removes the day to day burden of in house mail production and eradicates or significantly reduces labour within the following areas.

  • Storage of information booklets, paper, envelopes and restocking duties.
  • Time spent enveloping the mail piece and picking of corresponding information sheets.
  • Portering or department staff delivering mail to the post room for despatch by Royal Mail
  • Time standing over unreliable folding/inserting equipment to correct jamming during production.
  • Time dealing with printer jams and toner removal.

The above efficiency benefits have resulted in staff having more time to perform more rewarding functions and spend a greater part of their day delivering front line patient care.