Online Consult enabled us to create our own dedicated coronavirus form, which patients have found reassuring”. Senior GP partner Dr James Stewart, St Luke’s Medical Practice at Carluke

New online system helps Scottish GPs manage coronavirus outbreak

GPs can triage patients via portal before they arrive at the practice

A new online system that enables Scottish GPs to triage patients before they arrive at the practice is helping doctors man- age potential coronavirus cases, while ensuring face-to-face ap- pointments are managed safely and speedily. Online Consult, from EMIS

Health, is being made avail- able free of charge to all GPs in Scotland for 12 weeks, as part of

the company’s attempts to assist medical workers during the COVID-19 crisis. It has enabled St Luke’s

Medical Practice at Carluke in Lanarkshire to direct patients to a specially-tailored online form on coronavirus, so that they can get vital advice from the practice without leaving home. It is part of a system to help GP

practices manage their workload while keeping communication lines open 24/7 for patients. Te form allows the practice to

filter patients with coronavirus symptoms and direct patients to national guidelines and helplines. It also helps patients with

other issues not related to coro-

navirus who need help, but do not want to go to their practice because they are concerned about infection or do not want to take up an appointment. Senior GP partner Dr James

Stewart said: “Online Consult enabled us to create our own dedicated coronavirus form, which patients have found reas- suring, and it is very useful for us in the current climate.”

Before rolling out the system, St Luke’s Medical Practice in Car- luke offered an open access clin- ic every morning to the 11,300 patients on its list. It meant that patients had to get there before 9.30am – but they would wait up to two hours in a queue to be

seen. Now, they go online to fill in a form, which is triaged by a GP. If necessary, they are offered a same-day appointment. Te easy-to-use system comes

with customisable and pre-built forms that ensure GP practices can cover a range of patient queries. It is also proving particularly

useful for nervous or anxious patients, who are able to answer questions online and in detail rather than in a face-to-face consultation. Patients, who can access the

forms through the practice’s website or Patient Access, are able to post questions online 24/7, and the surgery responds during working hours. l


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