Using An App To Reduce Unnecessary Hospital Attendances

Published: 2nd February 2017

In late November we started live testing the Consultant Connect iPhone app in Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES). The app makes it quicker and easier for GPs to speak with specialty consultants at the local acute Trust, Royal United Hospitals (RUH). So, how has it gone down?

In the 2 months since it was introduced, over 50% of GPs with iPhones have downloaded, registered and used the app. In that period we have also seen a significant increase in usage of the Consultant Connect service, both through the app and landline phones. Although the bump in usage isn’t solely down to the app, there is no doubt that it is a significant contributor.

Dr Tom Riddington at Oldfield Surgery in Bath is a regular user of the app. “I typically use it for paediatrics, neurology and rheumatology, all specialties where it has been historically difficult to get hold of a consultant. Now I can get through to the right person in seconds. It’s very reliable and it’s rare that I don’t get through. The consultants are very good at taking calls”.

The app makes accessing a Consultant faster, too. We estimate that GPs get through to consultants 15 – 30 seconds quicker using the app. As Dr Riddington continued, “When you are under the time pressure we are under, anything that speeds things up is vital. I used to have lists of numbers stuck to my wall, now I have instant access to a whole range of hospital specialties through the app. I used it this morning whilst a patient was with me, it was quick enough to fit into their appointment”.

The app also keeps records of calls made using it: “I find it very useful for knowing who I have spoken with and when. The audit trail recorded by the app is genuinely useful”.

Dr Ruth Grabham, Medical Director of BaNES CCG and a GP at Newbridge Surgery, added “The app makes all the difference. Everyone uses their mobile phone all the time and having direct access to specialty consultants through an app is a superior experience. You can see all the specialties available on one screen and there’s no waiting: it brings us GPs closer to our secondary care colleagues, and that’s great for patients”

The Consultant Connect app is available to all our customers at no additional charge, please get in touch to arrange a demonstration by calling 01865 261467 or emailing info@www.consultantconnect.org.uk.

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