Park & St Francis Surgery
- Patient List size: 17,100
- Launched: 1st March 2018
- Model: Routine Clinic
- eConsult allows patients who want help and advice but don’t require a face to face appointment to get help from us on the same day
- Ask your patients to use eConsult in the first instance – put it on your phone system and tell patients about it when they ask for an appointment
- We’ve made eConsult such an integral part of our day-to-day working life that we’d be lost without it
Park and St Francis‘s patient population includes a high proportion of the ‘worried well’ – patients that want reassurance that their symptoms aren’t anything serious. When we took on an additional 2,000 patients from a closing practice that had never done telephone triage we decided to start using eConsult. We wanted something that would help us manage with the additional demand of patients but also so we could better understand what patients were wanting advice for.
We changed our answer machine and phone system to ask anyone over the age of 18 to use eConsult in the first instance. Lots of people naturally gravitated to it, because it’s so convenient for them to fill it out at any time and know that they will still get an answer to their question. That way they’re not calling or booking appointments if they’re not certain they need one.
“I was able to write everything down instead of being asked by reception, then by triage, then by the doctor. Much simpler and more straightforward.”Patient
We get three times the number of calls for appointments than we actually have appointments, so the fact that we have an additional way to manage this demand is excellent. We have an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who does our on the day duty demand, and when she gets booked up, the overflow is picked up by reserved slots that each GP has. As eConsults don’t take long to review, we can get through them and respond to the patient the same day.
“I was phoned back within a matter of minutes of submitting the eConsult. A spare appointment was then found for me that afternoon and the doctor had already familiarised himself with the information so we ‘hit the ground running’ and wasted no time.”Patient
As it was something new to us, at first we only took on adult clinical conditions, but because we’ve got used to how eConsult fits into our workload, we’ve started doing admin requests online too. It does alter the balance of the workload in the practice as the admin team are picking up more requests, but it releases time for the clinical team.
We’re far more responsive now than before too – we get back to all of the eConsults that come through on the same day. Many are very pleased that it’s before the ‘end of the next working day’ standard response time.
“We’d be lost without eConsult. We can’t go back to the way we were doing triage before – it’s embedded into our practice day to day.”Practice Manager