There’s an app for everything it seems with practices implementing software to ease the burden of administrative work, to generate income, and even to improve patient experience.
Daniel McGraw, chief commercial officer of GP practice tech company, Vision, spoke to Management in Practice about how technology can drive practice development.
‘That ten-minute consultation is really crucial and we want to make sure that it’s with the GP and the patient, not the GP and the technology,’ he said.
Vision provides applications to surgeries which can minimise the time spent booking appointments, help practices to keep track of patients at risk of developing long-term conditions, and even allow staff to view patient records from mobile devices.
‘Can you image a patient waiting ten minutes to book an appointment? it’s frustrating! We take that down to seconds and it enhances the patient experience,’ McGraw said.
The fastest appointment booked by a member of practice staff using the app was done in 4.1 seconds.
The Richmond General Practice Alliance in London has used the Vision Anywhere app to allow staff to view patient records from any of the federation’s surgeries or hubs, enabling them to provide seven-day access.
‘In a federation booking appointments, if I’m doing a search for a patient I’m going to know whether it comes from an EMIS site, a TPP site, or one of our sites,’ McGraw said.
The company is focused around ‘interoperability’, McGraw said. The Outcomes Manager app is interoperable, he said, as it is able to access data from other systems and bring it to the CCG level where practices can see the symptoms that may result in serious illnesses down the road.
The service has been used by Greenwich CCG for the past year to identify patients who are undiagnosed in order to action targeted interventions and collate the data at a CCG wide level.
In the first year over 4,000 patients were identified and diagnosed with a key long term conditions such as diabetes, COPD, hypertension and heart failure, and over 1,000 patients with diabetes have been downgraded to a lower risk group.
Message to practice managers
Practices able to leverage other applications within the organisation, McGraw said: ‘Even though they are on a competitive system, they’re still able to use the Vision mobile app, they’re still able to use Outcomes Manager, they can even use the appointments system.
‘Because we are interoperable, it doesn’t matter which GP system you’re using, you’re able to leverage other applications from Vision.’
‘We feel that we have the technology to address most if not all of the problems in the NHS and achieve the goals of the Five Year Forward View which are collaborate, prevent, and localise.’
‘The patient’s data is secure’, McGraw said, ‘access to records is only going to enhance patient care.’
Vision’s goal is to ‘Use data for good through preventative health measures or holding practices to best standards.
‘We’re moving away from more traditional GP practice systems to care systems. It’s all focused around patient care and giving better access to that.’