A couple of days ago we launched a live trial of the new Consultant Connect app with a handful of surgeries. It’s a small but important milestone: for the first time, a GP can reach a local specialty consultant immediately for Advice and Guidance through an app.
Now GPs can send photos from their phone
One of the main features of the app is the ability of GPs to send photos when they’re making their Advice and Guidance call. The photos are sent via a method that is compliant with information governance rules and regulations. And they are only shared with the consultant who answers the call. Consultants can select photos and zoom in on them during the call.
Photos are not stored on the phone of either the calling GP or the answering consultant. Authorised users with clinical permission can access the photos after the call by logging in to our secure platform. Images are stored alongside the call data (which includes a sound file of the call) for medico-legal purposes.
In other words, GPs no longer have find the practice’s special camera, make sure the battery is charged, take a photo, find the USB cable, plug it into their desktop, download the photos, import it into their NHS email, send it and then wait an undetermined period of time for a response.
With the app, in less than a minute, the GP can take a photo and be on the phone with a consultant who also has access to that photo.
Faster and easier call placement
The other benefit for GPs of the app is that they can make calls even faster. The Consultant Connect telephone service was designed to be very simple and fast to use. The app is even better.
It shortcuts directly to the specialty the GP requires, cutting out the time required to make phone menu choices and input the patient NHS number, which means GPs can be connected sooner.
Just the beginning of improved clinician-to-clinician communication
While the app is a big milestone for Advice and Guidance systems, there is still so much more we will do. It is the first step of many.
Our vision is clinician-to-clinician communication being as simple as a button press. Anytime one group of clinicians needs to speak to another, Consultant Connect is making that as simple as a tap. No searching for phone numbers. No trying to figure out who the right person is. No navigating of switchboards. Just open the app and tap.
And because it’s been designed with Information Governance in mind, you can rest assured that all calls comply with relevant guidance and that call records and photos are stored securely.
The Consultant Connect app is currently in live trials and will be released more widely on IOS (Apple iPhone) before the end of the year. If you would like the app to be available for use in your area, please call us on 01865 261467 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.