It is no secret that most people’s interaction with the NHS is through their GP and while the overall public satisfaction with the NHS remains high, difficulty in booking an appointment at a local surgery remains the top reason given among those who are dissatisfied with the service .
In the recent years GP surgeries have taken this issue into their hands and have been working towards extending opening hours in the evening and at the weekends, as well as investing into new approaches such as telephone and online triage.
Recent news stated that a new five-year contract for general practice will see the NHS recruit up to 20,000 new staff in the next five years to support GPs, including physiotherapists, pharmacists and paramedics. This aims to free up GPs’ time by enabling them to attend to those who need a longer appointment such as elderly people and those who have a more complex medical condition.
As part of the programme patients will, also, be able to receive an alternative route to treatment, as surgeries will offer more digital appointments using web and video calling by 2021.
At iPLATO we work directly with CCGs and surgeries to find out the best digital solutions to help practices become more efficient and although, there is still a gap between politicians and clinical staff over the value of video consultation in itself, we believe that by digitalising processes and supporting the NHS, we can achieve success and sustainability within the healthcare sector.
Our services aim to provide easier access to healthcare through the implementation of new technology solutions that promote efficiency, improve quality of care and increase patient outcomes.
preGP, one of our latest products, can help to reduce unnecessary appointments by notifying the patient with relevant alternatives that are available to them as well as providing video consultation, if needed.
How does it work?
preGP is an information gathering system tailored to local services to give them an easy and secure platform to work with.
If a patient books a routine GP appointment and the reason for their appointment is something that another healthcare professional at the practice can help with, they will be shown the alternative appointment signposting where they can find an appointment and swap for their booked routine appointment.
Depending on the device that the patient uses they will also be able to be contacted by their local surgery via video call. This is a secure tool that surgeries and myGP users will have access to as an option. Once the surgery calls the patient he/she will have the option to answer with video, audio only or decline the call. Once answered, the patient has the option to use the rear or front cameras of their smartphone by tapping on the top- right icon.
This new feature doesn’t want to take away the face- to- face interaction but aims to maximise the surgery’s time by reducing demands and effectively meeting patients’ needs.