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Patient Representation Group survey result and action plan 2012-2013

At Roselawn Surgery we are committed to working with our patientsto continually improve our service by taking feedback and being open to changeas guided by those who rely on the surgery. Our Patient representation Group(PRG) was set up last year and consisted of patients who kindly volunteeredtheir time and energy to help us make some changes.

This year we are planning with the PRG to focus on refining ourappointment system. The overall aim was to assess whether patients andclinicians could utilize more telephone consultations and is it appropriatefrom a clinical point of view. This would have the following advantages…

- Using telephone appointments for patients who just need adviceor administrative help such as prescriptions or letters.

- Improved convenience for patients who may be working, lookingafter family or unable to attend the surgery for issues that can be dealt withon the telephone.

- Reducing travelling time, cost and carbon footprint byminimizing unnecessary trips to the surgery

- Releasing more appointments that are taken for minor illnessesor administrative issues to be used for more ill patients requiring aface-to-face assessment.

- By increasing the number of telephone consultations morepatients will be able to speak to a Doctor and thus reduce waiting time ifadvice is sought.

Before making any changes we conducted apatient survey during clinics, the results can be seen below. The surveyconsisted of 240 patients who had same day or pre-bookable appointments over aone week period. We asked if the patient would prefer telephone consultationsin future if appropriate for their issue. We also measured this against theDoctors judgment as to whether the patient could have had a telephoneconsultation or if they thought a face-to-face consultation was necessary.

RESULTS

SAME DAY APOINTMENTS  

  

Would patient prefer a telephone consultation

  

Yes

 

No

Total

Did the Doctor feel a face-to-face consultation was necessary

Yes

 

20

48

68

No

 

59

10

69

 

Total

79

58

137

 

PRE BOOKED APPOINTMENTS

  

Would patient prefer a telephone consultation

Did the Doctor feel a face-to-face consultation was necessary

 

Yes

 

No

Total

Yes

30

 

31

61

 

No

 

34

8

42

 

Total

64

39

103

 

SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT FINDINGS

- For the same day appointment doctorsthinks that the ratio for genuinely needed to be seen and can be treated bytelephone consultation is identical. On the other side for pre-bookedappointment the same ratio says more patients would prefer to have telephonetriage.

- The eye catching figures in both type ofappointments is that the popularity of telephone consultations are far higher, forinstance out of 137 same day appointments 79 would prefer to have telephonetriage though considering doctors view 68 are appropriate for telephone consultations.Secondly, out of 103 pre-booked patients 64 were in favor of receiving helpthrough telephone triage and almost all agreed by doctor’s view too.

- Overall, 60% of all patients would prefera telephone consultation where appropriate.

- Of all the consultations where the Doctorfelt a telephone consult could have been utilized 84% of patients agreed andwould have preferred this.

- 16% of patients would have wanted aface-to-face consultation despite the Doctor feeling it could have been dealtwith on the telephone.

- 74% of same day appointments could havebeen converted to telephone appointments compared to 53% of pre bookedappointments.

OUTCOME AND ACTION PLAN

The results of the survey have provided uswith very interesting and informative data. It is clear that the use oftelephone consultations could be beneficial for the practice and for patients.However it is crucially important that if implemented then it should happencorrectly. We are very careful to take the wishes of our patients intoconsideration so only those who would benefit from telephone consults shouldreceive them and if a patient wishes to be seen then that option will still beavailable. If implemented correctly we think that more face-to-faceappointments will become available and therefore reducing the waiting time.

In order for us to accommodate for thissystem we are in process of putting an additional line on surgery’s maincontact number to facilitate more telephone consultations at the same timewhich should also make it easier for patients to reach our reception.

We have put our suggestions to the PRG aswell as the results of our survey. As a practice we will try to make changesfor the better and to introduce them gradually as not to upset the currentsystem.

 

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