eConsult Case Study
- Patient List size: 100,000
- Launched: January 2017
- Model: eHub
eHub Case Study Key messages
- Over 10,000 online consultations, a remote closure rate of 86% and an estimated saving of more than £82,000
- Centralised hub allows you to manage the demand from a number of practices, meaning we’ve processed around 25,000 prescriptions, documents and lab reports
- Staff are able to work remotely, even from abroad, with a huge increase in the number of applications we get for GPs who want to work more flexibly
Biggest single benefit of using eConsult: As shown in the Independent Assessment carried out by Candesic the eHub is now seeing our remote closure rate at 85%.
We had been using eConsult at my practice, Riverside Medical Centre, when I wondered why individual surgeries needed to process eConsults. We started the eHub in January 2017 as a way for the Hurley Group’s 15 practices to move to a centralised processing model. First we needed to show it could work, then we built capacity to be able to deal with volume before centralising processing and working in parallel with our practices.
We help practices tackle their long list of blood and lab results and electronic prescriptions with any patients who need a face to face consultation going back to their own practice. As the number of patients using eConsult has grown, so has the eHub – we now deal with 98% of the Hurley Group’s online consultations. Our GPs work for the Hurley Group, so if they need to call patients, they do so on the behalf of their own surgery.
At first it was just one clinician, two mornings a week, but now we have a whole team that work flexibly and even remotely from as far as Italy and Greece. The number of applications we get from GPs wanting to work in the eHub has grown massively, so now we can afford to recruit the best candidates.
Dealing with online consultations is a completely new skill that has to be learnt. We’ve developed a framework based on RCGP competencies, a governance and clinical quality framework and a training and supervision programme. Those who learn the skill and complete the training reap the real benefits that come with being a superuser.
“It saves me having to book an appointment and take time off work to see a GP. Very swift service. I love it.”Patient
When a GP joins the eHub, their remote closure rate is around 60-70%, rising to 86% after training. On average one eConsult can be processed remotely in three minutes, saving six to seven minutes from the normal 10 minute face to face slot.
“It worked really well in the timescales provided and there was no need to then speak to anyone face-to-face. It was very convenient and can be used anywhere, anytime.”Patient
We think this is a great model for at scale processing of eConsult, but it can be challenging to get practices aligned and comfortable with this way of working. That said, we think this model is going to spread, and we have more and more people asking about how we work. We’re seeing the NHS trying to save money and make efficiencies, and this is just one way to do that.