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Posted on February 24, 2017

e-forms optimise electronic patient record management in an NHS mental health department


To make patient records safer and more relevant to the field of mental health.


Using FormStream’s customised e-forms to create and share patient records securely from any location.


  • No data entry delays.
  • Traceable, customised and secure web-based forms.
  • Patient’s behaviour, treatment and improvements visible on one screen.
“Accurate and timely electronic patient data records are vital to mental health… [FormStream’s] instantaneous data selection, locking and sharing has made the consultation procedure more detailed and there is now a full audit trail.”
Justina Ritchie, NHS Dumfries & Galloway


NHS Dumfries & Galloway’s 4,500 staff serve a patient population of nearly 150,000. The Board offers a wide range of general services, such as inpatient and outpatient healthcare and treatment, as well as specific clinical specialities. One such strength is the mental health service provided at Midpark Hospital in Dumfries, Darataigh in Stranraer and Treastaigh in Annan.

The mental health department manages consulting and administrative tasks. Its aim is to give patients the best possible point-of-care diagnosis and treatment. Consequently, patient records need to be produced quickly and securely, as well as accommodating the sensitive nature of mental health care.

The Board already used a digital dictation system, WinVoicePro, to generate patient reports by dictating and audio-transcribing data into a clinical template. The resulting data was linked to a case notes database, IC Pathway.
The existing system had proved time-efficient however it was felt that the interface between the two applications could be improved. There was also a requirement for a detailed consultation form customised to mental health.

Achieving swift, secure creation and distribution of accurate patient assessment

The Board chose to introduce FormStream – an e-form application developed by Voice Technologies in collaboration with the NHS – to both bridge the gap between dictation and database, and to introduce an e-form specifically designed for mental health consultants in hospitals and community locations.

FormStream accommodates the detailed and sensitive nature of mental health care. It also supports progress towards a paperless NHS by eliminating the reliance on hard copy by providing traceable, customised and secure web-based forms. 

Custom-made clinical forms are configured in FormStream to suit a Board’s or department’s practices. Authorised users login to open a worklist with a series of mental health oriented forms, such as risk assessments, that are linked to the active directory. E-forms feature:

  • Pre-populated patient information
  • Previous assessment information
  • Lock option to prevent unauthorised editing 
  • Search options by patient or date created/edited to enable fast file retrieval
  • A summary of patient’s risks identified, precautions taken and further actions needed.

Data input is location-agnostic so there are no data entry delays. The 110 staff in NHS Dumfries & Galloway’s mental health department use fixed terminal PCs, portable tablets and handheld devices to input patient data into the customised form.

FormStream’s e-forms can be verified for upload to the Board’s clinical system, and a distribution channel assigned to communicate findings instantly. 

“We were particularly impressed with the ability to create and save patient documents [and] change [them] at a later date. This allowed particular flexibility when referring to case notes via the interface as changes in patient’s behaviour, treatment and improvements were clearly visible on one screen with no need for past document referencing or seeking patient history in the archives.”
Justina Ritchie, NHS Dumfries & Galloway