South View Partnership
eConsult Case Study
- Patient List size: 13,000
- Launched: 15th March 2017
- Model: Routine Clinic
Case Study Key messages:
- Our GPs are more efficient – they know a patient’s problem beforehand so they can respond in a considered way, the red flags and structured medical history removes the worry they might have missed important questions, and if needed patients can go for tests before being seen
- 30% of submitted eConsults are for administrative tasks – and receptionists have fewer admin queries to answer over the phone
Biggest single benefit of using eConsult: At South View Partnership, we’ve seen a decrease for around 40% in our duty phone list each day, and both our patients and staff receive a better experience.
South View Partnerships has a large commuter population. They found that by switching to online consultations their patients were able to complete eConsults in their own time, knowing that the surgery would get back to them by the end of the next working day.
We were finding it difficult to meet demand, with patients waiting up to three weeks for a routine appointment and an ever-expanding phone list. Not only was this a strain on the practice, it wasn’t meeting patients’ needs – they were having to miss work to see their GP, rather than get advice when it suited them. Patients who wanted to be seen quickly were trying to book on-the-day appointments by calling in at 8am, even if their concern wasn’t urgent.
“As it’s an online communication, patients can read it in their own time. It’s much more patient-centred.”Practice Manager
We use eConsults as another way of triaging calls, helping us keep up with demand for appointments and giving our patients more choice. We wanted to incorporate eConsults into the normal working day for our GPs, so we removed two of the 10-minute slots at the end of each clinic and use this time to review two eConsults and respond to two urgent calls.
eConsults are monitored by the admin team at South View Partnerships who assign them to the duty doctor’s clinical task list. The clinical and receptions teams worked together to familiarise themselves with eConsult before introducing it and even submitting their own so they understood it from the perspective of our patients.
“I use the eConsult service regularly now, it’s especially helpful if I know that I can still receive help from my surgery even without an appointment and one of the doctors always responds within the time frame that I am given and their advice is always very helpful”Patient
We’ve used a range of marketing materials to highlight eConsult, including banners on the practice website, posters in reception and a prescription-sized leaflet. We also added a pre-recorded message to our practice telephone number, suggesting patients consider eConsult next time.