Anwar Hussain, a practice manager at St Pauls Way Medical Centre in East London leads a very young practice, where employees are constantly keen to find new technologies to introduce at practice level.
When he heard of AccuRx Chain SMS, a text system that allows staff to communicate with patients in less than 30 seconds, he decided to try it out at his practice.
He tells Management in Practice’s reporter Valeria Fiore how his practice saved up to £60 a month on postage costs after introducing this new technology.
Why did you start using AccuRx Chain SMS?
It was recommended to us by one of our clinical leads and we have been using it for just three months now. It offers a quicker way to get through to your patients, because sometimes people are busy working so they are not always available on the phone. But if you send them a quick text, they will pick up the message. You can also edit the message yourself and make it relevant for each individual. Everything gets saved on the patient’s record as well, which is great, so when the patient calls back, reception staff can see that note and give patients advice.
How has this technology helped you work more efficiently?
Before we introduced it we had to forward patients their results or contact them, which would prove a bit difficult at times, but with AccuRx you can send a text message and it only takes a few clicks.
It is easy to use, patients like it, and we reduced workload for our admin staff. Before, our GPs were kind of creating an extra workload for our admin team as they were asking them to write letters to send to patients. Our admin team deal with around 200 practice notes on a weekly basis, which before would take between two and three hours of their time.
Now they are probably spending only between one hour and an hour and a half dealing with the same tasks because this software allows GPs to quickly send a patient texts.
We saved time and money, especially on our monthly postage costs. We estimate monthly savings between £50 and £60 per month.
What challenges did you face when you introduced this system?
The only challenge I faced was to install the software on over 35 terminals.
It was not difficult to implement the system. We got a few people to pilot it first and get a feel for what it’s like, and the reviews were really positive.
The training was really simple. Once you have the app on the desktop it is quite self-explanatory and easy to use. So we just sent a screenshot around to everyone about how it works and the benefits of it. It does not take a lot of practice managers’ time at all.
We have a quite young team at the practice, so everyone is enthusiastic about introducing new technologies.
How will you continue to future-proof your practice?
We are promoting e-consultations and are always exploring new items. We have some iPads in our waiting area to promote online-consultations and surgery pods allowing patients to register themselves and get their blood pressure and weight on a little touch screen.
Anwar Hussain is a practice manager at St Pauls Way Medical Centre in London