Newbattle Medical Group
- Patient List size: 17,826
- Launched: 17th March 2019
- Model: Routine Clinic
Newbattle Medical Group Case Study Key messages:
- We’ve dedicated two GP sessions and one dedicated admin support to eConsult – our patients get advice from the practice quickly and our staff can manage their workloads more efficiently.
Newbattle Medical Group is a GP practice that caters a mix of patients, including a lot of commuters going into Edinburgh.
‘We understand our patients are busy and getting GP appointments can be hard, so we introduced eConsult as another way for patients to be able to contact us for help or advice.’
Our advice to patients who want an on the day appointment but don’t need urgent care is to do an eConsult because we can help them faster than if they booked a routine appointment or tried to call up in the morning. We have around 300 face to face appointments to offer but these are usually gone by 10am.
“I didn’t have the frustration of trying and failing to get an appointment by phone, which I have experienced previously. I liked that I could contact the Surgery at a time that suited me.” Patient
A dedicated and trained eConsult administrator checks through the details of incoming eConsults and decides which clinician can resolve the query or sends it to the admin team. We decided to have two dedicated eConsult sessions a day – one morning, one afternoon, covering about 80 appointment slots. As eConsults come in, we assign them to a slot for the eConsult GP to review, and they will then work with the administrative team to work out the next steps for the patient – that may be sending them a text or email, or calling them back to book an appointment if they need to be seen.
Promoting the service to patients was really key for us – we put information on our prescription slip and on our telephone system, so patients knew there was a more convenient way to contact the practice. We work over two sites, so we put up posters and banners in the practice waiting rooms and on our practice website.
The response from patients has been incredible – people have really taken to the fact that they can contact us when it’s convenient to them and we will get back to them as soon as we can. We’ve also seen our call volumes drop from over 100 in the morning down to 50 or 60 thanks to people now using eConsult for their queries. Our staff really feel the difference too – we wanted a solution that would help our patients to feel incentivised to work for us, and we think we’ve got that now.
“Having the afternoon eConsult slot for our GPs is a bit of a treat – they get through the eConsults that have come in and have the time to get all their admin done without having to stay late.” Practice Manager