While the headlines are all about crisis,
smart GPs are now giving their patients
faster, easier access, and saving their own time.
It's a personal service for patients, and one that
puts GPs back in control of their day.
Find out how you can now choose a system
which already benefits over half a million patients every day
Whatever the question, the cry from GPs has always been, “Yes, but what about the unrelenting demand?!”
What if there was a system which put GPs in control, giving them a precise and detailed history from each patient before they even reach the consulting room?
That way the GP can decide on the best course of action, deal with many remotely or by phone, and see only those clinically appropriate. But would the patients ever do that?
If the service is fast, easy, personal and confidential, the evidence is that many choose it.
The new models of care outlined in the Five Year Forward View encourage innovation in patient facing services, with an emphasis on digital access.
We see technology not as the driver, but the enabler of change within a demand led, whole system approach.
askmyGP is a ready made system benefiting from 20 years of development in its unique history taking engine. It encourages self help through NHS Choices, yet offers superfast service from the patient’s own GP or others at the practice.
As the divide between primary and secondary care dissolves, more in depth specialist use of the service becomes possible, saving face to face encounters throughout the pathway.
Get in touch now for a demo on how askmyGP can increase GP productivity by 40% and open up practical possibilities for new models of care.
When you are feeling ill or anxious the worry of trying to get through to your GP can be the last straw.
If your practice offers askmyGP, you are in control as you can start from your smartphone or computer and get help direct from your surgery.
In working hours you will have a response within minutes. It’s a personal service, and you can ask for your own named GP.
If he or she is working that day, you almost always have your choice, and by answering a set of questions first, you save time – many problems can be solved without a visit.
askmyGP brings together a set of well proven technologies, but with the philosophy that they must enable rather than drive service improvement.
At its heart is the relationship between patient and GP, and the system of general practice needs to support that relationship while addressing the acute problems of poor access, loss of continuity, and an unsustainable GP workload.
Online technology enables more convenient, more timely, more precise and detailed communication.
The core Instant Medical History (IMH) online history taking software has been over 20 years in development, contains some 80,000 questions, yet still does not give a diagnosis. Only the GP can give a diagnosis and decide the best course of action for the patient.
GP Access has a proven history of delivering change with over 60 practices around the UK, including CCGs, GP federations and PMCF winners, with extensive evidence on the sister site.
Combining its intervention with an online entry point, in addition to the telephone, allows even better service and more time saving for both patients and hard pressed GPs.
Instant Medical History (IMH) is mainstream in the US, its acceptance by physicians demonstrated by some 700,000 patient histories taken online every day.
In the UK Horton Thornley Medical Centre in Hyde, Manchester has pioneered the approach.
The comments from patients at Horton Thornley Medical Centre speak for themselves on its validity and acceptability to patients, an papers below explore Computer Patient Interviewing over four decades:
One of the first papers on the subject was published in 1966: Slack WV, Hicks GP, Reed CE, Van Cura LJ. A computer-based medical-history system. N Engl J Med. 1966 Jan 27; 274(4):194-8.
In 1997, Professor Ray Jones, then at Glasgow University, produced a report for the “NHS Information Management Group” on computer patient interviewing.
In 2003, John Bachman, Professor of Family Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, published a literature review of the subject.
In 2010, Professor Bachman published a paper describing his experience of 2,500 ‘e-visits’ from 4,282 patients at his clinic and demonstrated that in a significant number of instances a face to face consultation was not required.
Please view a video of Professor Bachman talking about this paper.
According to Ofcom figures, by Q1 2014 61% of UK adults owned a smartphone, 57% using one to access the internet. Industry figures put this higher at 80% by Q1 2015.
Ofcom puts broadband at home at 77% of adults. The numbers are growing strongly across all age ranges, and the UK does more shopping online than any other country.
Why not use the convenience of the internet to overcome the frustration of trying to get through the GP? It’s time to change.
They most certainly will.
Some patients will want to phone in, as they are used to doing, and they are perfectly welcome. By helping those who can benefit from online access, phone lines will be freed up and service improved for those who can’t.
Every day around 700,000 patients use IMH based services in the USA.
Developed over 20 years, the software has been tested and honed to give unrivalled clarity to doctors and simplicity for patients.
An estimated one half of US primary care physicians offer the system, and around half of their patients use it, some up to 70%. The secret, they have found, is ensuring the patient benefits too.
EMH is part of the NHS GPSoC framework, ensuring system level integration with EMIS, INPS, TPP and Microtest.
Assurance activities are ongoing through HSCIC and, as full features are made available by the principal providers, they will be added to all askmyGP sites at no extra charge.
Instant Medical History (IMH) is the branching question engine developed over 20 years and used extensively in the USA. We have reworded, wrapped and extended this to cater for specific UK requirements (such as custom question pathways, clinical system integration and clinical coding) and released it as Engage Medical History (EMH).
You can embed and link askmyGP in your existing website.
We provide technical assistance as required to get you up and running – we also offer a complete website design and hosting service for a more seamless patient experience.
We know that patient satisfaction is driven largely by speed of response (choice of GP often also matters).
The faster the practice responds, the more patients will be encouraged to use the askmyGP service and online entry point. The more they use the service, the more time is saved for the practice and the GPs.
Years of understanding the dynamics of patient behaviour and the patterns of demand means that we can accurately predict how much demand happens each day and when.
Over six million records in our Navigator suite give us unique insight, which translates into accurate forecasts for the practice. Rapid feedback enables you to adjust the forecasts with time.
The askmyGP system presents the GP with a detailed history, so that a decision can be made within a minute and then communicated to the patient.
With a telephone led system, some practices already achieve a 15 minute median response, and ten minutes is easily achievable with the right system design.
Our GP telephone led system has transformed access for over sixty practices, patients now waiting minutes rather than days or weeks to contact a GP.
And yet demand has remained flat, falling up to 10% in many cases, as “just in case” demand disappears.
We have no evidence that demand is rising, and when rework is eliminated, the workload drops.
GPs quickly realise that a patient entering online takes on average only 6 minutes to resolve, compared with 10 minutes in a traditional face to face model.
So time is immediately freed and dealing with the messages becomes high priority. The pattern of demand soon stabilises so that the day can be organised around messages, phone and face to face consultations.
It’s self reinforcing – the more come in online, the more time is saved, the better the service becomes.
Professor John BachmanProfessor or Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic
"Patients liked it, they found it easy to use and the barriers about getting hold of their physician dropped immediately."
Dr Nadeem AhmedGP, Haughton Thornley Medical Centres
"Fantastic! I could not get such a detailed history in the 10 minutes I have to see the patient. Asks all the relevant questions and presents it in a quick easy to read format which can be part of your consultation. Brilliant."
Dr Amir HannanNHS North West
"The initial results show an overwhelming success with superb patient experience so far, suggesting that this is an innovation that is applicable and potentially relevant to healthcare generally."
Jane C WebsterPatient at Haughton Thornley Medical Centres
"Having used the Instant Medical History (IMH) questionnaire process, I am keen to continue using this approach, which clearly provides tangible benefits to both the patient and the General Practitioner. The system appears safe and secure in use and was very easy to access online."
Family at Haughton Thornley Medical CentresAll three members completed an Instant Medical History (IMH)
"The questionnaire is a ground breaking way to speed up GP to Patient contact times. The information gained from answering a few simple questions means that the GP has lots of extra information before the patient enters the surgery doors."
Harry LongmanGP Access Ltd
"At last, online access that will cut GP workload. It's a personal service for patients, and one that puts GPs back in control of their day."