NHS updates: Kent adopts digital platform, GPs in Wales switch to electronic referrals

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Kent Community NHS Trust will be using a new digital healthcare platform called Advance Community, which includes a mobile app called iNurse which allows healthcare professionals to access an NHS database from their smartphone/tablet/computer, in order to integrate its operations and support mobile working among its staff.

Advanced Community will replace paper and electronic systems with an integrated network that supports all healthcare management tasks, such as patient referral management, booking appointments and keeping patient records.

If successful, the platform could be rolled out to other areas as well.

Meanwhile, NHS in Wales is switching its paper based hospital referrals to electronic referrals, to combat the fact that as many as 13,000 paper based ones get lost, posing risks to patient safety. 96% of GP practices in Wales have switched and this will be fully rolled out by Spring.

Added advantages of electronic referrals include saving the health service GBP 4 per transaction, improving patient satisfaction and giving staff more time to spend with patients.

Over 10 years, it has been forecast that online referrals could save NHS Wales £28m in administration costs.

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