Will Online Consultation open the floodgate of consultation for GPs?

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Will Online Consultation open the floodgate of consultation for GPs?

Did you know that many practices have found using an online consultation (OC) tool to deliver significant benefits for both patients and the practice?  

These benefits are most likely to be achieved when the practice has actively adapted the use of the tool to meet local needs and has considered and adjusted workflows, rotas, appointments and communication with patients to support the new ways of working 

As you would be well aware the aim of online consultation tools is to provide increased choice and flexibility for patients in how they access care and to also provide benefits to practices in managing and prioritising their workload. 

One of the common reasons for many practices are hesitant to offer OC to their patients is due to the concern about an excessive number of online consultation requests from patients. 

It is a valid concern!

But many medical practices have successfully solved this and are reaping the benefits in increased efficiency and improved patient care. 

We’ve seen the following steps implemented in their practice workflow 

    1. Configure the OC platform to support both Admin and Clinical online requests: Modern OC systems must have the ability to support both admin requests (new patient registration requests, sick notes, etc) and medical consultation requests (new consultation, long-term condition). The OC system must be configured with relevant settings specific to medical practice. 


    1. Automate submission of the online consult form into EMIS/SystmOne: One of the key features of an Online Consultation system is the ability to push OC requests into the patient record in SystmOne or EMIS. The absence of this crucial automation will discourage practices from manually copying the OC requests from an email into the patient record. 


    1. Automate triage Admin vs Clinical Online Consultation requests: Differentiating between an Admin OC request such as a new patient registration request and a clinical OC request (new condition request) is key for maintaining efficient use of crucial medical resources. 


    1. Automate the creation of an “online Consult” slot for clinicians (GPs and Practitioners) for Clinical OC requests: The ability to automatically create appointment slots for Online Consultations helps in reducing the manual triage time. 


    1. Admin OC requests are dealt with through the admin staff: Once the admin online consultations are differentiated from the clinical ones, the system should route the admin requests automatically to the admin staff. This automation can greatly help in reducing clutter and loss of time. 


    1. Minimise the use of emails from patients through the integration of the OC platform with SystmOne/EMIS: Modern systems are expected to avoid sending patient-sensitive data over insecure public email systems. The use of staff portals/web apps to view online consultation requests is a secure and auditable mechanism that should be implemented.


    1. Train the staff and educate the patients: The use of any digital system requires wholehearted support from the practice staff. The implementation of an OC platform must include comprehensive on-demand user training. Staff should be encouraged to educate the patients on the use of the OC systems and discourage the use of phone systems for non-emergency cases. 


Get in touch with us if you wish to implement our online consultation tool v-Consult or just want to discuss the poor uptake of digital solutions in your catchment area.

About Capri

Our OC platform called vConsult provides well-rounded and well-integrated Online Consultation capabilities. Capri is an approved supplier of the NHS DFOCVC framework.  At Capri Healthcare we develop systems & apps that help Medical practices gain the benefits of innovative technologies.  



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