Our SMS templates helped store 40 observe-up appointments per week

Dr. Muhammed Akunjee and Dr. Nazmul Akunjee talk their system texting sufferers approximately their check effects

The problem

An audit of our pathology links in a standard week showed we usually had around six hundred blood checks. We additionally looked at test requests and discovered the week’s workload become 25 MRI, forty X-ray, and 25 ultrasound reports.

Around 20% of pathology and scans were observed to be bizarre and requiring action. We estimated this supposed round a hundred and twenty patients every week could be contacted by way of cellphone or letter. Of those, 80 would be referred to as lower back to the GP.

The ordinary technique might be for the medical doctor to perceive potentially atypical outcomes and then for admin personnel to ask the patient to wait. Those with pressing effects might be contacted first.

Once a patient attended an appointment, one in every of 4 opportunities might get up:

• The outcomes were every day and the affected person will be reassured.

• The consequences were odd, and the affected person could require a repeat test, test or additional assessments.

• The consequences have been strange, and the patient could require a prescription.

• The effects have been bizarre, and the affected person could require referral or admission.

We felt there was an excellent possibility to shop appointments using creating a software that would allow the health practitioner to perform the above four actions the use of SMS texting, while not having to look the patient face to face.

What we did

Our medical group assessed the distinctive consequences for an extensive type of strange assessments and test results and created the subsequent medical templates:

• Twenty pathology results, along with low ferritin, raised cholesterol, low nutrition D, abnormal K, odd Na, atypical LFTs, stool Helicobacter pylori, urine – UTI, swab – thrush, HbA1c, TFTs, and eGFR.

• Twenty experiment consequences together with PCOS, ovarian cyst, fatty liver, gallstones, fibroids, sciatica, inguinal hernia, bursitis, rotator cuff tear, varicoceles, hydroceles, ganglions, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and meniscal tears.

We spent two months reviewing the above areas and designing templates that allowed the clinician to create an SMS message that could tell the affected person in their circumstance and the subsequent steps. The templates included fields that permit the clinician to talk the real consequences, give an explanation for what they imply, provide links to online affected person statistics leaflets, inform the affected person whether or not they want a script and endorse on the want for similarly or repeat checks, onward referrals or assessment at the surgical operation.

We then commissioned a group of programmers to build the software. The software program additionally lets in us to mechanically electronic mail password-blanketed blood test request bureaucracy and e-referral forms.

The consequences

The exercise has reduced the need for GP appointments by 40 per week, or 2,000 in 12 months. This provides up to six. Five hours of medical time every week – equal to as a minimum £20,000 of locum expenditure in step with 12 months. Opening up our get admission to through operating proactively manner we’ve got reduced our look forward to a prebooked recurring appointment too much less than one week.

We have additionally made financial savings on stationery, postage stamps, and printer charges, as well as releasing admin and another body of workers from recalling and chasing patients.

Our staff is tons happier with the brand new procedure, as the documentation is robotically sent to the patient and sufferers do not have to come back to the surgical operation for outcomes. Also, the body of workers does not get hold of requests for check effects because of misplaced emails or letters.

The challenges

We spent our money and time to increase the solution as we felt it’d bring large savings. It turned into a new revel in challenge-coping with the development of a bit of software program and ensuring we got the gadget we required and that it worked the manner we desired. The software itself is pretty easy, and we’ve got skilled all our reception body of workers to use it.

The future

We had been invited by way of the nearby CCG to present our findings to fellow GPs. We were additionally contacted via the nearby federation to keep in mind checking out in a cohort of 5 practices. If that is a success, the machine could be rolled out to the remaining surgeries in NHS Haringey CCG.

Ashley Stephens

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