Posted on June 13, 2017

FormStream’s family grows with new e-forms for NHS Highland

NHS Highland, in common with all other NHS Boards and Trusts, is looking for opportunities to go paperless. The benefits of going paperless include reducing correspondence turnaround time to improve patient service, saving time for clinical and administrative resources, and reducing correspondence costs. Voice Technologies is supporting the drive by replacing paper forms with electronic forms (e-forms) using our web-based application, FormStream.

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

Colin Wood, Software Development Manager, explains: “People know us as providers of voice related systems but we’re involved in wider aspects of process and workflow improvements too. That has led to the development of FormStream. We have been working closely with NHS Highland for since 2015 to replace paper forms with e-forms. First, we gain a thorough understanding of their current paper-based workflow. We then replace onerous manual form-filling with custom designed e-forms that save time and effort.
“So far, 35 workflows within NHS Highland have been identified as potentially benefitting from the introduction of FormStream, with priority being given to those in highest demand. Eleven e-forms are already in use, four are at User Acceptance Test (UAT) stage, and eight are set to start UAT. The remainder are in development.”

Positive feedback leads to further demand

Disciplines across NHS Highland are already benefitting from the introduction of FormStream, from Multi-Discipline Team (MDT) meetings to Change of Treatment notifications. Feedback from users is positive with clinicians and administrative resources finding they are freed up from time-consuming form-filling. The popularity of the e-forms rolled out so far is leading to further demand in other disciplines as the benefits become apparent. 

Jim Docherty, Clinical Director, NHS Highland, commented, “[FormStream] has improved the quality and completeness of patient information. The MDT discussion summary is performed live during the meeting and communication with the GP is immediate.”

Integration and ease-of-use built-in

FormStream not only simplifies workflows, it also integrates with national IT systems including SCI-Store, Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) and clinical portals. Verification is a one step process and distribution to patients and GPs is immediate. The user experience is always at the fore-front when we design a new e-form, for instance, checkboxes are used wherever practical to avoid unnecessary effort and fields are pre-populated where possible with patient record information. For NHS Highland this involves a seamless interface with SCI-Store however we also support all other national Patient Administration Systems (PASs) such as TrakCare, TOPAS and HL7 feeds. 

Relevant technology

Voice Technologies collaborates closely with clients in NHS Highland which allows us to develop a deep understanding the issues and working practices that any new digital technology needs to support. For example, we are developing a tablet version of the Maternity Summary e-form that can be used offline during home visits as well as investigating a version that can feed selected information into the Ward View digital signage system. Our new Electronic Triage e-form is designed to capture data about a patient’s status at each contact so that information can be updated easily without the need to re-key, or copy and paste, data – avoiding manual error and saving time in the process. 

Transferrable and scalable

FormStream e-forms can be adapted to suit the requirements of other Trusts and Boards. Colin said, “We’re keen to make sure that other Boards and Trusts benefit from the work that’s already been done here at NHS Highland. If we can help them by accelerating the development of their own e-forms because we’ve been through the loop already it’ll benefit everyone.”

Project update

FormStream e-forms launched in NHS Highland in April 2017:

Acute Pain Referral, Change of Treatment (includes instant notification of change of treatment to GPs via EDT system), Change of Treatment (Dietetics), Colorectal Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), Dietetic IFD (Infant Feeding Difficulties), HPB MDT, Other GI MDT, Pre-Op Assessment (makes use of pre-built statements and checkboxes to avoid manual entry and copying/pasting), Record of Care, Referral ITR (FormStream make referrals quick and easy via email), and Upper GI MDT.

The next go-live batch will comprise:

Combined Change of Treatment and Medication (replacement for current ‘Change of Treatment’ forms), Death in Hospital Notification, Electronic Triage, and Maternity Summary.

If you work within the NHS and are interested in finding out how FormStream can enhance your workflows, please call Paisley: 0141 847 5610 or Sheffield: 0114 244 9960, or email:

More information about FormStream in the NHS >  

Case Study: Patient care improved with introduction of e-forms in NHS Highland > 

Case Study: e-Forms optimise electronic patient record management in an NHS mental health department >

An excerpt from the Maternity Summary e-Form