In the 72 years since the NHS was founded back in 1948, the way that we interact with our primary healthcare services has changed considerably. Gone are the days of patients waiting on the phone to make an appointment only to find the next one won’t be available for several weeks. Or queuing outside the practice trying to secure the first appointment of the day.
A lot has changed since we entered into the digital revolution. We live in a world where we have technology at our fingertips, and within a few clicks, we can book flights, order a weekly food shop, and even book GP appointments online. We have embraced the need for self-service apps and online programs to make daily living more accessible, and how we contact our healthcare providers is no exception.
In this month’s blog, we look at how Engage Consult has helped to revolutionise the way patients can communicate with doctors, providing a safe, secure, and simple online consultation solution.
Total Triage – the New Normal
It may have taken a global pandemic to highlight the great work that the NHS provides and the strain that it is continuously under, but, in reality, before lockdown General Practice was already struggling to meet demand. Delivering over 300 million patient consultations each year, GPs are always under pressure to meet demand and provide patients and carers with the help they need on a daily basis.
Over the last few months, Covid-19 has played an essential role in the way that total triage has become the new normal in General Practice around the UK. Determining patient and carer requirements from the outset has helped to prioritise those in the greatest need, reducing avoidable face to face appointments, all while providing a high-quality service.
Internet-based consultation solution, Engage Consult, has been designed and developed to help ease these pressures by providing a seamless end to end patient to doctor non-emergency engagement platform. Patients can connect with their GP practice from the comfort of their own home 24/7 and can access the services from a PC, tablet, or smartphone. And with a database of tens of thousands of questions and 6,000 clinical conditions, patients and carers can describe their problems or symptoms or ask general admin questions safely and securely online. This level of background detail allows GPs to assess the request as part of total triage and determine whether the patient needs to be seen or whether they can be signposted to other local or self-care services.
Unlike standard online appointment booking, the online consultation allows practice staff to quickly understand what the necessary outcome should be. From dealing with an admin query about a doctor’s note, or making a diagnosis and setting up a follow-up consultation by phone or video, queries can be answered in a few short clicks using online consultation.
However, the benefits of an online consultation system such as Engage Consult, which is used by over 300 practices across the UK, don’t just reach patients by providing an overall better customer experience. The evidence is clear that practice efficiencies are also enhanced, easing the pressure on both clinical and administration teams by helping to allocate time and resources where needed. Online and video consultations also mean a reduction in the number of phone calls into reception teams, which relieves the pressure, not only on staff but for patients. In short, it means that patients can get the service they need, quickly and efficiently.
Our latest case study highlights how implementing Engage Consult into a General Practice during lockdown has transformed working practices, improved patient access and looks at the benefits of online triage for clinical consultation.
Like Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype calls have become the new normal for many of us throughout this pandemic; General Practice is embracing the many benefits of online and video consultations, as well as the impact it has on total triage in much the same way.
Contact our team to today on 01263 888 330 to learn more about Engage Consult