Blithehale Health Centre
“I can empty my EMIS inbox quicker, I can tick off tasks on my to do list faster. I am more in control.”
The Blithehale Health Centre in East London is one of our more local surgeries, not far from Brick Lane and the best salt beef bagel shop in London…only one of the reasons the accuRx team are always pleased to visit the surgery in person. Blithehale are keen to push forward innovation, always looking for ways to improve their patient care in terms of safety, quality and experience. They recognise the power of making it easy and efficient for their staff to do the right thing. It’s great to interact with such a proactive practice.
“Chain SMS is quick and easy to use as part of my work flow.”
Stefan Struebind, GP Partner at Blithehale, explained to me how he is able to get through his mountain of tasks more efficiently with Chain SMS. “The templates messages are really great! Just looking at the list now….back pain exercises, signposting to counselling services, normal STI screen results, family planning advice, self-certification for illness, vitamin D deficiency….there are so many here!” In a busy clinic these are shortcuts to send valuable patient information for education and safety-netting. On receiving a hospital discharge summary, Stefan can text a patient to book in for a blood test or appointment.
“I can give better care to patients without the need for them to attend the surgery.”
“Patients benefit when we’re able to easily keep them in the loop with their care, for example when we’ve actioned a hospital referral. It lowers anxiety, reassures them something is being done, and they don’t have to come into the practice.”
Blithehale have looked for more large-scale opportunities to use Chain SMS to improve efficiency. They, like so many practices, are trying to reduce their DNA rate. They are involving Chain SMS in the next cycle of a quality improvement project. They have introduced a policy of sending DNA patients a text message with the practice DNA policy attached, and can even confirm via the practice dashboard that the patient received the message.
“Chain SMS makes missed telephone consultations so much safer.”
Stefan commented about the restrictions on 12-minute appointments and telephone consultations, and how Chain SMS improves quality and safety of patient care. “In the appointment I can easily attach an information leaflet to a text. We have lots of telephone consultations, they are booked at a specific time. If the patient does not pick up, I leave a message. You don’t know if this has gotten through to the patient. Having Chain SMS makes it so much safer. I can leave a message and send a text message saying I tried to call.” And as for the dreaded EMIS inbox? “If I’m checking blood test results - let’s say a patient has high cholesterol - I can send them an information leaflet on this.”
“Chain SMS saves so much - it saves me time, printer ink, trees!”
Stefan listed all the resources saved by Chain SMS: “Also medical secretary work, stamps…and it is all done in my workflow. It is streamlined. In a 12-minute consultation I can get my paperwork done, rather than leaving it in a long to do list at the end of the day. I can empty my EMIS inbox quicker, I can tick off tasks on my to do list faster. I am more in control.”
Stefan highlighted to me how Chain SMS works as a weapon in a GP’s armoury against primary care pressures, simultaneously improving patient care. Doing the right thing should be easy, and with Chain SMS it is.