Provided by E-Learning for Health
Practice staff play a vital role in supporting patients to get the right care based on their needs. Using an online consultation tool increases choice and flexibility for patients and supports more equitable access for patients by enabling them to contact their GP practice in a way that suits them. This is particularly important for patients who find it easier to access care using an online or written route. Other access routes – phone and in person – should continue to be available alongside these digital access routes.
From a practice perspective, using an online consultation tool to gather information about the patient’s symptoms or request can support the practice to better understand the patient’s needs in advance of a consultation, ensuring advice or care is provided by the right person, at the right time and in the right way.
In this way, online consultation tools can support practices to better match demand to capacity, by sorting and signposting patient requests to the correct member of staff or service and by enabling clinicians to prioritise requests based on clinical need, responding to patients within an appropriate timeframe and using an appointment type that is matched to their needs and preferences. For example, straightforward requests can be dealt with more quickly, using a pre-written message, while more complex requests can be understood before a consultation takes place, with the patient booked directly into the right type of appointment.
Administrative triage (sorting and signposting) is a critical process to help practices realise the benefits of online consultation tools and involves supporting general practice administrative staff to design their practice workflow in sorting, signposting and delivering administrative triage with the aim of supporting an inclusive approach to managing demand and workload.
These elearning sessions will help support general practice staff to:
- introduce administrative triage and understand the evidence behind using an online consultation system to support patient requests
- design a practice workflow and set up a triage list
- promote the service to patients and understand some of the considerations for the practice team when working remotely
- confidently take patients, or their nominated carer, through an online consultation request over the telephone or in person
- sort patient requests and signpost to the right place, service, or clinician for clinical triage
This resource is a collation of quality assured learning resources and information to help you in your role as a member of practice staff helping patients, carers and clinicians to access or deliver care in a way that meets their needs. The resources focus on how administrative triage and online consultation systems can support your day-to-day practice.