EMIS Web clinical services and remote consultations are helping the member practices of OxFed work more collaboratively to provide better, safer care.
Having started using EMIS Web clinical services and remote consultations, OxFed – a GP federation based in Oxfordshire - are now able to offer seven-day access to a range of routine primary care services with evening and weekend appointment slots. The federation is made up of 20 member practices and is running their Extended Access service across six practices using remote consultations. With Data Sharing Agreements in place, the practices are able to book patients into cross-organisational slots for appointments with a range of services including:
- GP appointments
- nurse appointments
Better integration for more joined-up care
Dr Tom Nichols, the GP Clinical Lead for IT for Oxfordshire CCG, has found that using EMIS Web for clinical services with remote consultations makes the process much simpler and easier. “After recording our consultation in the patient’s normal GP record, we complete a small template, so that if we issue a prescription or make a referral, we have recorded it for audit, and then close the consultation” explains Tom. The notes made during the remote consultation are then filed back into the patient’s GP record so that everything is kept up to date in one single record – the patient’s GP record, not across different databases.
Access to a single record for safer and more effective care
Because remote consultations ensures that patient records are accessible and can be updated in real-time, any clinician who sees the patient has access to the information they need to provide safe and effective care.
Tom explains that traditionally, seeing patients outside of their normal practice without this sight of patients’ records is “very stressful as you are essentially working blind, and your ability as a clinician to make decisions is much more challenging compared to having the full GP record.” With all the necessary background information available, clinicians can make more informed decisions at the point of care so that they can “actually treat the patient rather than simply fire-fighting” explains Tom.
Built with patient safety at its heart, remote consultations not only allows clinicians to make more informed decisions that reduce risk and work more effectively, but it also improves the security of patient information. A patient’s record can only be shared if the correct sharing agreement is in place, and even then only the consulting clinician has access to that record. Plus, patient records can’t be searched for within remote consultations, so only the clinician with whom the patient was booked can see a patient’s record.
Meeting the needs and expectations of more patients
Using EMIS Web for clinical services with remote consultations has enabled clinicians to work more collaboratively across the federation as patients can be seen by any doctor at one of six locations, knowing that the clinician they see will have access to all their relevant medical information.
This improved way of working collaboratively has meant that the federation are able to meet the needs of more patients than they could previously, and to ensure that as many patients benefit as possible, they work on a rotation basis. “Clinicians travel to different GP practices and work from 5pm-8pm on weeknights and 8am-1pm at the weekends,” explains Tom. Working this way means that patients are more able to get to a practice at a time that’s more convenient for them without necessarily travelling further to get there.
Continuing to expand their services
The success of EMIS Web for clinical services with remote consultations has been fantastic, with the federation now able to see and treat patients more effectively and at a time that suits busy, modern lives. In fact, the federation are still looking to expand their use of remote consultations to include spirometry services too. It all means that even more patients will receive safer, more effective and more informed care at a time and location that’s most convenient for them.