Five million patient milestone reached by online consultation and workflow system askmyGP
Five million patient requests have been managed by GP practices using the askmyGP online consultation and workflow system since September 2018. The system is used by practices throughout the UK with a combined list size of over 2 million patients. Clinicians at the practices use the system’s online triage tools to prioritise and deliver care by secure message, telephone, video or face-to-face appointment.
In those requests, 70% of patients chose to contact their GP online via the practice website, while the remaining patients phoned their practice. Half of patient requests were completed by the practice in two hours or less, including requests made online outside normal surgery hours.
Overall, patients asked for face-to-face appointments in only 12% of cases. 50% of patients asked to be contacted by the practice by phone and 34% asked for a secure message from their clinician. This pattern has varied considerably due to lockdown, with a clear shift away from face-to-face activities.
Across those patient requests, clinicians decided to see 12% of patients face-to-face. 86% of patients’ requests were resolved on the same day they contacted the practice. Recent patterns differ somewhat and can be explored in the live data presented on our website.
Across the five million patient requests, between 5% and 7.5% of patients on the practice list made contact each week; we observed that seasonal fluctuation is greater than the changes observed during lockdown. Patterns of demand in 2020 have remained similar to 2019 – this point is discussed further in our blog: patient preferences and clinicians’ choices in 2020
The five millionth patient request was received by the St John’s Medical Centre in Altrincham, early one Thursday in October 2020. St John’s has been using askmyGP to manage all of its patient requests since January this year. The request was closed by telephone 51 minutes later. GP partner Dr Marik Sangha said:
“With askmyGP we are simply getting through the work more efficiently. Although we are supporting the same numbers of patients, most don’t need to come into the surgery – you don’t need to physically see them. Nearly 80% of our patients make their request online, freeing up phone capacity for our more vulnerable patients who need more help. Patient feedback has been extremely positive.”
Harry Longman, chief executive of Salvie Ltd, the company behind askmyGP, said:
“This is a major milestone, and we are delighted that askmyGP continues to enable patients to get help promptly from their own GP. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic practices are able to understand, predict and manage patient demand much more flexibly, putting them in control of who they see and when, and ensuring patients receive appropriate support despite challenging circumstances.”
3 November 2020