In this category, we share the finalists for Supporting General Practice Through Technology.
Redmoor Health and North East and North Cumbria AHSN
Overview: Commissioned by NHS England’s Digital First Primary Care team, AHSN NNEC, in partnership with Redmoor Health, is delivering the Digital Champions programme which gives all NHS primary care workforce in the North East and North Cumbria the opportunity to become digital champions within their organisation.
Why? The latest research estimates that 52 percent of working people lack digital skills in the workplace, and evidence has shown this includes the health and social care workforce.
What happened? Digital Champions is a free 12-month education programme for all primary care staff who want to inspire others to embrace digital technology. As part of the programme, staff attend two virtual/remote sessions delivered by Redmoor Health. These sessions are an opportunity to learn about digital communications, including website and social media; engaging patients in digital and online services; and best practice examples across primary care services. Champions will also have access to mentorship opportunities, one-to-one drops-in; networking and events delivered in partnership with industry experts. Before the first session, champions are asked to fill out a baseline questionnaire in order for their confidence to be assessed in using technology/digital at the beginning of their journey as a digital champion. The second session will give champions the chance to come back together in their cohorts and showcase/discuss what they’ve been doing since the first session, and how they’ve actioned their action plans and worked towards reaching their goals. As of February 2023, the AHSN Digital Champions programme had 75 active champions (262). The champions will act as a link between the Digital Champion Network and Primary Care, disseminating best practice to colleagues, and likewise feeding in suggestions around digital products and support required from colleagues to the Digital Champion Network.
Looking ahead. Digital champions will have opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills, enabling to share their insight and experience with others and help to implement new digital products.
Overview: Two decades of democratising access to health tech innovation, starting with a mission to make interoperability a possibility.
Why? Will Temple spent the earlier days of his career helping medical facilities set up their technology infrastructure and quickly saw a pattern. Clinicians could only access their systems on-premise, which meant they were often stuck working late hours and unable to access their systems and medical records remotely.
What happened? Meddbase started as an EHR, meeting customer demands including clinical safety, information security, compliance and a complete digital journey covering booking, billing and reporting. Offering bespoke implementations, the team work closely with customers for onboarding, offering strategic workshops during implementation to help redefine their business process in light of the new capabilities the solution offers. The solution is designed to enable reporting on every aspect of the business, allowing the migration of data easily and without disrupting business continuity. Every feature or module in Meddbase originates from a challenge or a problem that healthcare customers were trying to solve, including scaling their operations, improving patient experience, or reducing admin for their clinicians.
Looking ahead. Meddbase is committed to propelling technological progress in the healthcare sector, particularly through the SaaS delivery model, and hopes to continue to enhance digital interoperability between private and public sector care providers.
Overview: TeamNet by Agilio Software is a comprehensive digital solution supporting front-line operations. It acts as a one-stop hub for all operational needs of a primary care organisation.
Why? Many practice managers and primary care professionals face several barriers including paper-based spreadsheets, manual storage of documentation, and navigating multiple systems across the organisation, all of which are highly time-consuming and prone to human error.
What happened? Designed with and for primary care professionals, TeamNet is a holistic digital platform that addresses all these challenges whilst bringing all the operational needs of a primary care organisation into one place. Key functionality includes instant access to the latest clinical information, procedures, and policies. It is permission-based, so the relevant people have access to what is relevant to them, and a rota functionality built for primary care teams also provides an easy way to manage and schedule the workforce. Workforce planning can be supercharged using TeamNet’s Flexible Pools add-on using MLM technology, and is the only interoperable, flexible pool solution for all staff types. The combination of TeamNet and MLM technology provides absence, HR credentials, and staff availability data all from one place for proactive staff planning as well as recruiting locums as salaried staff by practices with no penalty, managing all staff roles, including ARRS recruited practitioners, and the functionality to manage and process all compliance-related information including fridge check records, staff training, and safety alerts. All are in one place with easy-to-track records, ensuring practices are ready for CQC inspection at any time. TeamNet can be used in a single practice or utilised across PCNs, enabling smoother operational running and more efficient delivery of care across a specific region or locality.
Looking ahead. TeamNet and its various add-ons will continue to drive efficiencies across organisations, modernising the way primary care operates.
St Andrews Health Centre & Accurx
Overview: In early 2022, the triage system at St Andrews Health Centre led to low staff morale, delays in patient care and daily queues outside the practice. But since using Accurx for total triage, the centre now resolves 99 percent of patient requests within 48 hours, significantly improving patient access and satisfaction levels.
Why? St Andrews is a large practice based in east London, with an ethnically diverse population of 16,000 patients. In early 2022, staff were reported to feel overwhelmed by patient requests, which came in through multiple channels and without an efficient process for managing these.
What happened? Patients get in touch with our practice in-person, over the phone or online. From here, the reception team assesses both the urgency of the request and whether they can resolve this themselves. They then assign requests to the relevant inbox within Accurx (e.g. the inbox for admin requests, pharmacy, GPs and nurses). Guided by patient need, the relevant staff member decides the appropriate course of action. In a few clicks, our team can send SMS messages to patients to give information, ask a question or request a photo (e.g. of a skin lesion), communicate with an NHS professional outside the practice, or send a Self-Book link via SMS to patients who need an appointment. After the patient chooses a slot from their pre-selected times, this flows straight into the appointment book. The centre can offer patients video consultations wherever these prove most convenient.They committed to ‘go at the pace of the slowest person’ and encourage an open environment where staff could raise any difficulties they were having. Patients no longer have to join the 8am rush but can contact the practice via a simple link, confident that they’ll receive a reply the same day. Between April and October 2023, 99 percent of patient requests have been resolved within 48 hours. On average, patients receive a reply within just 30 minutes.
Looking ahead. The team will continue to make improvements through the Accrux system, and hopefully provide insight for other practices hoping to make similar changes.