We spoke to Alison Flannery at Wellfield Health Centre about their recent adoption of PATCHS, the online consultation tool backed by Advanced (which provides practices with the ability to manage incoming requests virtually). PATCHS has been developed in collaboration with The University of Manchester and Spectra Analytics, and provides an all-in-one solution for patient triage, workflow management, and integrated video.
Wellfield Health Centre (as part of Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale CCG) have invested in PATCHS to redefine their approach to patient care. Covid-19 has forced us all to work differently and has served as a catalyst for a technological revolution. All sectors are now forced to look at how they can operate more robustly and work smarter.
With PATCHS, its triage and workflow functionality enable practices to handle hundreds of requests simultaneously. This allows staff to prioritise and signpost patients to the right care provider in real-time, thus reducing their workload. In the midst of a pandemic, it means GP’s are now able to provide support and guidance virtually, which alleviates the risk of exposure for both parties. Alison comments: “We tried a few other solutions and none of them adequately met our needs. But I like the direction we’re going in with PATCHS. Throughout the pandemic we’ve been inundated with calls and emails, and it was time we synthesised our approach. With PATCHS it’s starting to feel more like a reality. It feels cleaner and more simplified. I was initially nervous about taking the leap, but it has really helped to streamline some of our processes and patient communication, and we anticipate this to improve even further going forward. The two-way asynchronous messaging and image uploads in PATCHS have been an invaluable resource. From single sign on and automatic patient registration checks, to note filing and SNOMED coding. The integration with Docman 10 has also really helped in shaping our experience.”
PATCHS allows patients to access GP services quickly and easily by answering four simple questions. It strives to provide an enjoyable patient experience and has been accredited for the new Digital First, Online Consultation and Video Consultation (DFOCVC) framework, (which aims to deliver the NHS’s commitments to support online consultation in general practices). Alison notes:” The majority of the feedback we have received has been good. So far, we have simply launched it via the practice website and our practice e-mail address signposts patients to PATCHS via an automated message if the query is about a medical issue. Once we migrate customer information into PATCHS we hope to really amplify our use of the SMS feature, to get more of our patients to engage. As PATCHS also has SMS capability for ad-hoc outgoing communications too, it will be a great tool for us moving forward. The four mandatory free text questions allow patients to quickly (and accurately) describe their requests to us, which has proven to be useful and effective. In the future, it would be great for us to be able to compile the data received through the software, in order to ascertain which queries are best resolved through the workflow. This will save time for our doctors and give our patients speedier results.’”
Advanced is committed to equipping our customers with solutions that support them in being agile, forward-thinking, and resilient. Alison confirms: “My experience with Advanced so far has been exceptional. From an implementation perspective they were helpful, and as a company they have been very supportive. Their professionalism is remarkable. As PATCHS is backed by Advanced, (one of the UK’s largest healthcare software providers), they have the resources, and from my understanding, a thorough grasp of the market they serve, so they will be able to support the system it long-term. This gives us a degree of reassurance, that with time, it can only improve and grow.”
Ric Thompson, Managing Director of Health & Care at Advanced, had this to say: “The past year has brought more than its fair share of challenges. At Advanced, we touch almost every part of health and care with our technology, so in many cases we have been helping our customers deal with some of these issues. We’re thrilled to see Wellfield Health Centre take the plunge and adopt PATCHS. They have already started to capitalise on its innovative functionality, and with time will only further discover its benefits”.