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Copying patient letters – making it work

Copying patient letters – making it work Purpose – That patients should be able to receive a copy of any letter written about them is part of the British Government's policy to increase patients' involvement in their care and treatment. All National Health Service (NHS) organisations are expected to implement this by April 2005. This paper aims to describe how one acute Trust has used basic change management principles to implement the initiative. Design/methodology/approach – Examines the approach of the Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust, where initially a survey of all consultants, senior nurses and allied health professionals was carried out. Findings – Initial concerns that patients would not understand the letter were generally unfounded with 98.9 per cent of patients saying that they understood their letter. Of patients, 96.9 per cent said that they found receiving a copy letter useful. Originality/value – The research demonstrated a high percentage of patients wanting a copy letter, which has huge resource implications in terms of secretarial time, additional stationery and postage costs. Change is difficult and an emotionally charged issue however, using examples of good practice and taking a multi‐faceted approach to the change process the initiative has been successfully implemented. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Governance: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Copying patient letters – making it work

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1477-7274
DOI
10.1108/14777270510627590
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – That patients should be able to receive a copy of any letter written about them is part of the British Government's policy to increase patients' involvement in their care and treatment. All National Health Service (NHS) organisations are expected to implement this by April 2005. This paper aims to describe how one acute Trust has used basic change management principles to implement the initiative. Design/methodology/approach – Examines the approach of the Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust, where initially a survey of all consultants, senior nurses and allied health professionals was carried out. Findings – Initial concerns that patients would not understand the letter were generally unfounded with 98.9 per cent of patients saying that they understood their letter. Of patients, 96.9 per cent said that they found receiving a copy letter useful. Originality/value – The research demonstrated a high percentage of patients wanting a copy letter, which has huge resource implications in terms of secretarial time, additional stationery and postage costs. Change is difficult and an emotionally charged issue however, using examples of good practice and taking a multi‐faceted approach to the change process the initiative has been successfully implemented.

Journal

Clinical Governance: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2005

Keywords: Clinical governance; User interfaces; Change management

References