- Developed and launched as a response to the possible co-morbidities from last year’s lockdowns as more than 4 in 10 adults gained weight
- Patient Questionnaires to provide time-saving, pre-set questions via a weblink enabled SMS. The new service allows for more complex data collection as it complements a popular existing 2-way SMS solution used for GP practice data collection.
- Launching with BMI and blood pressure questionnaires – set to be immediately available with results coded directly to the medical record
- Available to both EMIS and SystmOne users, PQs will enable practices to monitor those at risk of, or living with, hypertension and/or diabetes/pre-diabetes and obesity.
iPLATO Healthcare, the developers of myGP, have launched Patient Questionnaires – a new tool to simplify how practices capture and store patient data. Pre-set questionnaires for blood pressure and BMI will be immediately available, with questionnaires for smoking status, anxiety and depression (GAD7 and PHQ9), ethnicity and further bespoke questionnaires to follow shortly after. Patient Questionnaires will be given at no cost to current myGP Connect users from this week. This latest launch follows the announcement of myGP’s web-booking feature ahead of flu season.
Developed to streamline practice workload
Created by iPLATO to offer time-saving support to GP practices burdened by appointment backlogs, Patient Questionnaires is available to both EMIS and SystmOne customers. Once a questionnaire is selected, the patient receives the questionnaire via SMS or via the myGP app. Questionnaires can be scheduled in advance and sent to groups of pre-selected patients. Each SMS sent is saved within the patient’s medical record, making it simple to track when individuals were asked to complete questionnaires. All results are coded to the patient’s medical record.
Tobias Alpsten, CEO at iPLATO, commented ‘We understand current levels of patient demand have left many practices stretched both in terms of time and resource. It’s untenable to expect these practices to operate smoothly, even in the short term, without significant healthtech assistance. We’ve chosen to launch with Blood Pressure and BMI as we know, through conversations with our platform users, there is serious concern that failure to catch recent, lockdown-linked weight gain may create significant future complications for patients. Patient Questionnaires will offer instant insight into potential health risks and ensure patients are placed on treatment programmes sooner rather than later. As we continue to roll out increasingly targeted Patient Questionnaires, we hope to become the first port of call for those looking to review and measure patients remotely.’
A simple solution for preventable conditions
Lockdown has had a significant impact on the population’s health. Research from Public Health England has identified weight gain in over 2 in 5 adults across England, with 1 in 5 gaining a stone or more. This roll out of BMI and blood pressure Patient Questionnaires aims to support primary care in their early detection of key risk indicators, in turn preventing future cases of hypertension, obesity, diabetes and other associated long term conditions. With an estimated 5 million people in England living with undiagnosed high blood pressure, it’s vital that GPs can identify at risk patients without relying on individual appointment bookings. According to recent NHS estimates, more blood pressure checks have the potential to prevent 3,700 strokes and 2,500 heart attacks over the next 5 years. If used widely by practices across England, Patient Questionnaires will significantly reduce the financial burden on the NHS, both in terms of future savings for preventable conditions and through its market-leading pricing structure. Competitively priced, Patient Questionnaire SMS’ will be costed in the same way as current SMS messaging via the myGP platform, and all questionnaires sent to myGP app users will be free.
Dr. Preeti Shukla, NHS-GP in East Lancashire, added ‘As surgeries across the country face overwhelming demand for services, it’s clear that tools such as Patient Questionnaires will become increasingly central to the early detection of high-risk conditions. Take myGP’s blood pressure questionnaire for example. High blood pressure in a patient can flag potential risk for various cardiovascular issues, such as strokes or heart attacks, and can act as an indicator for dementia. It’s vital that we continue to monitor those with long term conditions, but we must also reach those with currently undiagnosed high blood pressure and start their treatment programmes. The ability to contact large groups simultaneously without the need to manually input individual results is not only time saving for the practice, but also potentially lifesaving for patients.’
Ease of use for patients
Being able to remotely submit results via an SMS saves many patients an unnecessary trip to the GP. BMI is easily measured at home and those who monitor their blood pressure will have a machine at home. For those who don’t, most high street pharmacies offer the service for free.
A weblink is sent to the patient (accessed via smartphone or typed into a browser) and submitting results takes a matter of seconds. To protect against human error, those sent a Patient Questionnaire must verify their identity through a DOB identity check before completing the questionnaire. The link to the pre-set questions will lock if the user enters three incorrect attempts.
Patient Questionnaires Roll Out
Identified as key for many practices, blood pressure and BMI will be the first two Patient Questionnaires available at launch. Once responses have been saved to a patient’s record, they will align to the QOF requirements for the topic in question. Weblinks dedicated to Smoking, Anxiety, Depression, and Ethnicity will feature in the second phase of the Patient Questionnaire roll out. Phase three will see questionnaires for Asthma, COVID Monitoring, Health Checks, COPD, Blood Glucose, O2 Levels, and Peak Flow become available.
iPLATO currently connects 40m patients in the UK with their own NHS GP practice. myGP, which can be accessed via a smartphone app by patients and through a secure web interface by clinicians, is the UK’s largest independent medical app with 2.4 million active users. It is currently used in over 2,400 GP practices.
About iPLATO and myGP
Created by health tech company iPLATO Healthcare, myGP is the UK’s largest independent healthcare management app with over 2 million NHS patient users, and 6,500 medical practices right across the country using the app / platform.
The myGP app was created to give NHS patients improved, and more convenient access to healthcare. By making all services available in one app, users can manage and navigate their own healthcare quickly and efficiently, whilst seeing all the options available to them of which they may not have previously been aware.
myGP is the health app of choice for over two million NHS patients. Its most popular patient features include:
- Booking appointments – Get access to health professionals at the tap of a button, including GPs, practice nurses, or other relevant and available health experts. No need to call and speak to a receptionist – it can all be managed privately, in-app.
- Complimentary healthcare services booking – Partner providers give myGP users exclusive access and discounts to complimentary services such as physiotherapy, mental health and nutrition programmes.
- Request repeat prescriptions – Putting an end to writing a letter or completing a form at the practice, patients can request repeat prescription in seconds, in-app, for click-and-collect at the chosen high street pharmacy or for home delivery (popular during the pandemic)
- Helping others access healthcare – Parents have registered hundreds of thousands of dependents to help family groups access the healthcare they need.
- Access to triage and remote consultation services – myGP allows patients to access online consultation services (triage and video consultation) from within the app or provided by NHS-approved providers such as eConsult and DoctorLink.
- Medication reminders – A handy tool to remind patients to take the required medication at the correct, regular intervals.
- Weight and blood pressure monitoring – a simple tracker for weight and blood pressure, helping people keep an eye on their physical health, and BMI.
iPLATO Healthcare Ltd Company Registered in England & Wales No: 6131747. Registered Office: One King Street, London, W6 9HR iPLATO Healthcare Ltd takes your data privacy seriously. If you would like to find out more, please see our privacy notices (https://www.iplato.com/privacy).
 Campaign launched to help public get healthy this summer – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) Accessed August 2021