There’s no denying that since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the world around us looks and feels different. The way that we interact with our friends, family and colleagues has changed. As has the way we shop instore and online – queues and masks are here to stay, indefinitely it seems! Staycations are more popular than overseas vacations, and of course, the way that we connect with our health care providers has also changed. It’s safe to say that whilst the curve has been testing at times, in general, people have responded favourably to incorporating the now ‘new normal’ into their lives.
But it’s the way that the world has responded to the pandemic which highlights how once simple, everyday tasks have been reinvented, rejuvenated and reimagined to ensure that they slot neatly into our daily lives as seamlessly as possible.
In our last blog, we looked at how Engage Consult and online and video consultations were changing the face of Primary Care – by creating a safe and secure online system for patients to connect with their GP from the comfort of their own homes. In this month’s blog, we’re looking at how Engage Touch has developed the functionality for patients to check-in for their appointments using their mobile phone. By using their own devices, check-in is made safer, quicker and more convenient for patients.
Across the UK, many patient check-in screens were switched off in March as Primary Care underwent a dramatic shift in the way it operated to combat the spread of Coronavirus. Many Engage Touch customers continued to use their touchscreens as they can be wiped clean for infection control, used with latex gloves and navigate patients away from reception to safeguard staff and patients. We also recognised that some practices decided to discontinue use as they were operating a “no touch” policy within the building and patients were escorted into the surgery for their appointments.
With the imminent threat of a second wave and the start of the winter flu season just around the corner, there has never been a more critical time to offer patients a new fast and effective mobile solution to check-in for their appointments. Over the past few months, the team at Engage has been working tirelessly to incorporate the new mobile check-in functionality which will help to provide ongoing support to practices and continue to safeguard patients throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
By using the mobile check-in functionality practices will be able to customise messages for patients, such as signposting to useful information and reminders. They will also be able to set the location in which a patient can check-in for their appointment. This exciting new feature will aid the efficiency of practices by helping to reduce wait times in reception areas and improve the overall patient experience.
The Engage Touch team have also worked closely with existing customers to create and develop a product that meets the needs of the practices and patients that will be using it on a daily basis. Ayo Dairo, IT Manager from Thatcham Medical Practice was one of the first to see the new mobile product first-hand. “It was a pleasure to see the product and spend time with Lewis during his presentation. The App appeared very easy to set up and use.”
When the mobile app launches, practices will receive a dedicated QR code which they can display in the surgery and at the entrance. Patients will be able to scan this QR code on their phone, which will open a webpage where they can input their details and arrive for their appointment. In addition practices can also send patients a bespoke link via text or email.
While there is ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and how long it will last, there is still a need to adapt and change our way of thinking. To regroup, reassess and refocus to meet the requirements of those most in need of our services. Engage Touch is an excellent example of how, when faced with a challenge such as Covid-19, we have developed and created a new feature that complements our already successful touch screens.