Dr Maassarani & Partners is excited to announce that we have launched eConsult – the online consultation software that gives patients a response from their GP within *3 hours.
What is the current problem?
It is no secret that GP Practices face increasing pressure to help patients get the right medical advice they need, as quickly as possible. It is also no secret that a number of patients on a daily basis are asked to call back the next day due to the unavailability of appointments, therefore creating a backlog for the practice and dissatisfaction amongst our patient population.
At Dr Maassarani & Partners we have found that 65% of patients who had a face-to-face appointment with a GP did not require one and could have been managed remotely, i.e. they did not need to come into practice to see a GP to have their query/problem resolved.
Therefore, in order to ensure we meet the ever increasing demand and needs of our patients whilst ensuring resources are utilised appropriately, we need to change the way we deliver care.
We want to challenge the status quo and provide a more efficient service that enables patients who request medical advice to receive that advice on the same day.
How are we going to improve access?
From Monday, 14 January 2019, we will aim to provide patients, who request a same-day appointment, the appropriate medical advice they need from their GP within *3 hours. We aim to achieve this by using a NHS approved online platform called eConsult which patients can access through our practice website www.mazmedical.nhs.uk
We will only improve access and the services we provide with the help and support of our patients.
*when an eConsult is received between the hours of 8am and 3:30pm, Monday to Friday. All eConsults received after 3:30pm will be processed from 8am the next working day.
What is eConsult?
eConsult is an evidence based online platform that enables patients to request medical advice from their GP by simply undergoing an online consultation. During the online consultation patients may be provided with advice for self-help or for them to contact other services to receive the care that aligns with their symptoms. For example, the patient may be signposted to a pharmacy for minor ailments or emergency services for signs of critical illness. Patients can submit an eConsult for a condition they have of which they want advice on (e.g. heart disease) or a new condition.
How are we going to use eConsult?
We have already been using eConsult, responding to patients prior to 6:30pm the following working day, and have had excellent feedback from patients and GPs. From Monday 14th January 2019 patients who request a same day appointment will be asked to complete an eConsult; our pledge to patients will be for us to respond to their request within a *3 hour period.
For patients who may not be in a position to complete an online consultation (e.g. those who do not have internet access, no available data, restricted vision, a learning disability or those carers calling on behalf of patients) we will offer a ‘call-back’ from a specially trained member of our administration team after 10:30am.
Our administrator will call patients back after 10:30am and ask questions about their condition/query. These questions are generated by the online consultation software. The administrator will submit the form on the patients’ behalf.
If a GP feels that a patient needs a face-to-face appointment then they will contact the patient within *3 hours and invite them in for an appointment that same day. For many medical queries (approximately 65%), the GP can and will complete the patient request remotely and/or during a telephone encounter within *3 hours of submitting an eConsult.
What are the benefits to patients?
- not have to wait in a long telephone queue to request an appointment at 8am
- not be told to ‘call back tomorrow’ as eConsult provides an option for a rapid response from their GP
- Capture illness sooner – no waiting days for an appointment to get an important diagnosis
- receive medical advice 24/7 via eConsult’s self help online services
- Patients have their symptoms remotely assessed by their own family GP and contact within *3 hours potentially without the need to visit the surgery in person
- Patients won’t necessarily have to take time off work or use holiday entitlement for the sake of a 10 minute GP consultation
We are confident that eConsult will significantly improve patient experience at Dr Maassarani & Partners. eConsult is used in over 640 NHS practices and used by over 6 million people throughout the UK and has demonstrated high patient satisfaction and excellent outcomes.
We hope you will join us in supporting this significant service improvement that we know will greatly benefit our patient population and give them access to their GP when they need it most.
We would welcome any comments and feedback regarding eConsult and further service improvements. Please email MG.Communications@knowsleyccg.nhs.uk
Please take the time to view a video from our managing partners explaining eConsult and why we are certain that eConsult will help give patients quicker access to their GP.
Dr Maassarani & Partners
0151 902 0010