Time Savers for Life Savers

Easter weekend will be a chocolate-filled, relaxing break for most people, but for many of you it’s at best a case of ‘work as usual’, and at worst, a time of extraordinary pressure.  Illnesses don’t stop for holidays, and it’s well known that holiday times are pinch-points for GPs.

Case Study: ‘My Health’ Lincolnshire Web App

NHS Lincolnshire East CCG covers a large area which includes Boston, East Lindsey and Skegness. Tourism in Skegness is continuing to grow, with over 250,000 visitors in the peak summer period. Being unfamiliar with the location, many of these tourists visit A&E for minor ailments and injuries such as wasp stings, because they simply don’t know where else to go, or who to ask for advice.

To address this, the CCG wanted to offer a localised, proactive guide to healthcare which would encourage patients to use self-help information and services such as pharmacies, before asking for a GP appointment or visiting A&E.  Importantly, the CCG also wanted to leverage the rapidly increasing trend of Smartphone and tablet usage.

Silicon Practice worked with the Lincolnshire East CCG team to provide self-care health information that could be quickly accessed on all devices and was relevant to the needs of patients. One of the key features is the use of the visitors’ location to let them know where their nearest open healthcare facilities are.

Rachael Bell, Service Development and Delivery Manager of the Lincolnshire East CCG Skegness and Coast Locality, project managed the app’s development and implementation.

“The Self Care Forum website was the trigger for the app,” says Rachael. “We needed something similar to help patients and visitors with self-education, which was our main aim. We also wanted the app to be localised in terms of medical services, so that people can quickly find their nearest open medical facilities. The app does that, telling users the distance and how long it will take them to get there, according to whether they’re walking or driving. This localised function of the app is particularly useful for us because of our high visitor numbers.”

Rachael describes the app as “Absolutely unique. It’s a fully interactive guide to self-help care.” and comments that great care was taken to ensure that it was user-friendly from the patients’ viewpoint, no matter what their age or technical abilities. The CCG undertook panel tests with patient groups of all ages and took feedback into account to make any necessary changes.

“For instance, after speaking with older people, we realised that we should change the symbol for a menu (three straight lines) into text, because although the younger generation knew what the symbol meant, older people didn’t.”

Funding for the app was given to Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group in January, and the CCG is now working closely with all its Health Services to ensure that everyone knows about it. They are also undertaking an ongoing PR campaign with their local tourism industry and media.

The web app has given our team at Silicon Practice the opportunity to blend customer research, device usage trends and user experience and has allowed us to tailor area-specific information to match the needs of patients.

New Patient Registration Management System

This new system, which is available with all our new websites, incorporates an interactive GMS1 form and New Patient Registration Form and can automate the communication between the Practice and patient during the registration process.

With this feature new patients complete the GSM1 online, rather than having to come into the surgery. This saves a considerable amount of time for Practice staff and ensures that the information is accurate.

The online forms can be as flexible as our clients like. For example, some Practices add a New Patient Form to include questions on lifestyle, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, so that they have a more rounded picture of the new patient’s health.

Once the form has been completed, the system automatically calculates the patient’s alcohol consumption score and can prompt further questions if the score is over a certain threshold.

The system informs the patient of the next step needed to complete the registration process, such as coming into the surgery with proof of identity. The system can also generate a welcome pack and letter from the Practice and can email it directly to the patient.

As well as being a time-saving tool, the New Patient Registration Management System  allows Practices to deliver a 5* patient experience before patients register with them.