Heatherview Medical Centre
- Patient List size: 13,800
- Launched: 1st March 2019
- Model: Routine Clinic
- We’ve done a lot of work to market eConsult at every opportunity to patients and we started well before our live date. This meant patients were already aware and started using it quickly – we saw 200 eConsult in our first 2 weeks.
- We carried out our training as a team so that we could all understand the process and make sure everyone knew their role – together we want to make eConsult work hard for us!
Heatherview Medical Centre is one of five practices that are in the process of merging, and will eventually cover 50,000 patients, so we really needed eConsult to help us manage increasing demand and workload for our staff.
To make sure that our patients really know about the service we started marketing to patients a month before going live. We’ve included the eConsult banner on every single page on our website so that it’s a constant presence, as well as in all email signatures for practice staff. Our posters, banners, information business cards and TV content in the practice are all about explaining the benefit to our patients – ultimately if they get a good service they’ll keep using it, and we’ll see the full benefits. We have a message about eConsult on our telephone system whilst patients are waiting to be answered, overnight and when the practice is closed, or when staff are in training.
Our clinicians, administrative and reception staff promote eConsult to patients when they see or speak to them, and we’re using text messaging campaigns to remind patients. Even patients who haven’t used the service yet know that they might be able to save a trip to the practice by using eConsult next time! We want them to know about eConsult before they come into the practice in case we can save them the trip – and so that the right person can help them, which in turn will save us time.
“I got a response just a few hours later. The doctor booked a face to face appointment the following morning. This service makes me feel that I have support and need not block the phones or add to pressures of the admins and doctors”Patient
All training was carried out as a practice group to make sure everyone understood how it worked together, meaning all the staff have been enthusiastic from the start. We really want eConsult to make a difference not just to our patients, who can get advice and help more conveniently, but to everyone who works in the practice.
In our first four months with eConsult we think we’ve saved almost 900 appointments which is just fantastic. We see people eConsult for things that they may initially be shy talking about, like mental health issues, so we’re glad our patients know that they can reach out to us in a way that is suitable and convenient to them, and that we can still help them.