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Doncaster & Bassetlaw teaching hospitals pilots AccuRx to improve communication about patient discharge plans

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) is piloting Accurx’s Message GP practice to improve communication about patients between the Skin Integrity Team and GPs in Doncaster and Worksop, once a patient is discharged from the hospital.

Leveraging Accurx’s adoption across 98% of GP practices in England, Accurx built Message GP practice, a feature of its AccuMail product, to allow any NHS professional to email a patient’s GP. Message GP practice includes the ability to send an attachment, and all correspondence – including any documents – can be saved to the patient’s GP record in one click.

The pilot has seen the Skin Integrity Team at DBTH significantly streamline and speed up the process of sending a wound care plan to a patient’s GP. Before the pilot, DBTH staff were either relying on patients passing on their wound care plans themselves to their GP, or they were spending time calling the patient’s GP practice to get an email address to send the plan to. Both methods took considerable amounts of time and left huge levels of uncertainty on whether the GP would receive the information.

The pilot has led to significant time savings for the DBTH team each week, instilling confidence that aftercare instructions are getting to the right place at the right time. It has also enabled GPs to run their appointments more efficiently, and give patients more timely, safe and effective care. Since the pilot started, staff say the benefits across the healthcare system in Bassetlaw and Doncaster have been fivefold:

●        DBTH Skin Integrity Team ward staff say they have seen significant time savings each week through being able to get key information to a patient’s GP surgery quickly and efficiently, as well as improved confidence that patient information is getting to the right person at the right time

●        It has helped provide safe effective care to patients by enabling referrals to be traced. This has ensured that all patients needing treatment receive the care they need.

●        GP practice nurses say they have been able to give their patients more timely outcomes – including triaging to specialist teams faster and booking them into an onward appointment after being discharged –  since the GP practice has earlier access to their clinical information than they did before.

●        GP practice nurses in Doncaster say they are able to run their appointments more efficiently and prepare in advance, since they now have information ahead of the appointment.

●        Previously, patients used to be handed a paper wound care plan and they would have to call the GP practice to say they needed an appointment. Now, the plan goes straight to the GP and the patient gets timely care without having the stressful experience of arranging appointments and following up on their treatment.

Kelly Moore, Lead Nurse of the Skin Integrity Team at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “Accurx’s simple technology has improved the communication that we have about our patients with their GP practices. Using Message GP practice has meant that we are now much more confident that the patient’s aftercare instructions are getting to the right place at the right time.

“In one instance, a GP practice that received the information via Accurx upon the patient’s discharge from DBTH was able to triage the patient immediately to a specialist team. Without the practice having received this information, the patient would have waited at least a week for an appointment with the practice nurse and then another week to get referred to the specialist team.”

Dr Satya Raghuvanshi, Head of Clinical at Accurx said: “Delivering truly integrated care requires healthcare professionals to work as one team around a patient. Across the healthcare system, this is made difficult by outdated routes of communication – be that sending a letter or waiting on hold to speak to the reception team at a GP practice. Simple and easy-to-use solutions can enable better communication between services, and better access to patient information, enabling healthcare staff to work more easily as a team and deliver better patient care. We built Message GP practice, a function of our two-way messaging product AccuMail, to help NHS staff across different services do just that. We’re excited to continue working with DBTH and seeing the benefits it brings to patients and their healthcare teams in Doncaster and Bassetlaw.”

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