The digital zeitgeist: what’s hot for GP Practices.

If you’re not immersed in the digital world, or even if you are, it can be hard to fathom which digital trends are worth riding and which are best ignored.

So to give you a steer, at Silicon Practice we’ve looked back at a year’s worth of designing digital solutions, researching the latest government initiatives, combined with visits to practices, federations and locality teams, to pinpoint three main trends that are gaining traction for 2017.

 

Sharing delivery of neighbourhood/locality services

Some of the most significant work we’ve been involved in 2016, which is escalating this year, is with neighbourhoods and localities. We are seeing neighbourhood teams offering services to the community as a group. Practices are telling us that collectively they are able to offer more services together than they can individually. As a result we are being asked to incorporate shared services into our FootFall product, such as physiotherapist services and community pharmacists.

 

Social prescribing/signposting

We’re seeing many GP practices finding merit in liaising online with local groups which are able not only to help their patients take control of their health and become more independent, but also help reduce the caseload of Practices.

We’ve already had instances where we have enabled Practices to capitalise on the valuable work they do in the community, and link their activities to these groups. The groups which we have referenced are many and varied, ranging from stop smoking groups and social services, to care services and child health.

Online requests

Only a few years ago, the idea of patients making an appointment, or asking for a repeat prescription online seemed advanced. Now, this tends to be standard practice. Today we have practices allowing patients to make over three dozen different request types online, ranging from tracking a referral to health reviews. More and more Practices are realising the benefits of increasing online access. Equally, patients are coming on-board with this way of contacting their practice, which often saves a visit or phone call to the practice and is available 24/7.

There are other digital innovations on their way – as we all know, the online world is not standing still – but these three relatively new ways of working are reaping rewards and bringing benefits to patients and Practices alike.

If you would like to talk about FootFall or digitalising any of your Practices’ services, please get in touch with the team here at Silicon Practice.