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March 1, 2023

How Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation trust are using Accurx to deliver virtual care

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation trust (BSMHFT) started using Accurx to deliver remote care quickly to its patients. Fast forward to today, and Accurx is embedded across the organisation as part of the digital offering.

How did it all start?

The pilot with Accurx started from BSMHFT’s initial response to the Covid-19 pandemic, where the ability to deliver remote care was needed quickly. This required rapid deployment of new digital infrastructure, and so a pilot was started with Accurx with the aim of getting simple, practical tools into the hands of staff to enable them to communicate quickly and easily with patients. BSMHFT was able to start delivering virtual care through remote consultations and patient messaging in just 48 hours. 

What happened next?

While the pilot originally grew out of the rapid response to the pandemic, Accurx has since become embedded as part of the digital offering at BSMHFT. Following the pilot, Accurx integrated its software with BSMHFT’s EPR, Rio, meaning staff are able to easily launch Accurx from the main clinical record system, from which they can then start a remote consultation or send a SMS message to a patient, cutting down the number of clicks and risk of error. This has enabled the trust to be more agile in providing remote care and achieve the best possible outcomes. The Rio integration was key to increasing adoption within the trust and improving staff experience using the software. 

What are the benefits, for trust staff and patients?

Today, staff at the trust use Accurx to text message patients about their care, and set up video call appointments quickly and seamlessly. They are able to simply log into Accurx with their NHS email and require no further training to use the software beyond the basic setup instructions. On top of this, video calls can be set up instantly without any need for pre-booking. 

For patients, Accurx’s software works on any device, meaning they have greater flexibility and can incorporate a remote consultation more seamlessly into their day. Patients have easy access to video calls with staff, where they receive immediate notifications to help keep a live, up-to-date channel of communication between patients and clinicians. This helps patients avoid the frustration of virtual waiting rooms. 

What BSMHFT’s CCIO says…

“The pilot had a transformative impact upon launch. Accurx’s software immediately enabled alternatives to phone calls which was very important to many patients. We quickly received positive feedback from patients, showing that the consultations improved their experiences of remote care.

“There are a few decisive factors in why the software has been so useful to our teams. Staff could log in with their NHS email details which were already in common use. It was quick to roll out to staff, and also easy for patients to use. We got a substantial amount of positive feedback from the word go, patients and teams alike feeling that the software was meeting a real need head on. Staff particularly like the ability to send text messages and set up video calls quickly and seamlessly.”

James Reed, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation trust 

A final word from Accurx’s Head of Clinical…

"It’s fantastic to see a pilot of our software have such an immediate impact on patients and trust staff alike. We’re thrilled that BSMHFT are now using Accurx as a key part of their digital offering for patients, and are excited to see the continued impact of better communication between healthcare teams and their patients.”

Dr Satya Raghuvanshi, Head of Clinical Accurx