Insights, news and views from the team.
July 7, 2022

Patient care goes far beyond appointments

If you’ve had a chance to read our previous post about patient-initiated follow-up or our recent report Rethinking PIFU: More than patient-led booking, you’ll be familiar with our belief that patient care doesn’t just happen in appointments.

Whether it’s a patient contacting their GP or a hospital outpatient on a PIFU pathway, our time shadowing healthcare staff has shown us that patients get in touch with a variety of queries that don’t always need an appointment. Instead, patients may simply need information to manage their condition, a discussion about symptoms or a repeat prescription. 

In these cases, patients can actually receive more effective, timely and personalised care outside of appointments. With the elective backlog now standing at 6.4 million and over 320,000 patients waiting more than a year for treatment post-referral, this truth about patient care can powerfully underpin how we approach elective recovery and integrated care, and put greater power into the hands of patients. 

Case study: Accurx Floreys

Together with our new PIFU solution, Accurx’s Floreys enable effective care to be delivered outside of appointments. Floreys are questionnaires which healthcare staff can send to patients via SMS or email to obtain key information. They can help staff to monitor patients and manage medical and admin queries. 

As well as providing coded responses which automatically integrate with the patient’s record, Floreys help clinicians to care for patients remotely while offering a better patient experience. Here we show, through an example patient called Jenny,  how Floreys let services provide remote care without the need for an appointment, and share the nine new Floreys our team has recently developed.

Patient journey: the new Accurx Sore Throat Florey

Jenny is a patient at The Oaks Surgery. For the third time this year, she has a sore throat, and she wants to speak to her GP to find out if she needs antibiotics or not. Jenny used to find it frustrating waiting on hold with her practice to get an appointment. But now that her practice has Accurx Patient Triage, she’s able to send a medical request through her practice website or via the NHS App. 

Jenny is amazed at how quick and easy it was to complete her medical request through Accurx Patient Triage. In just hours, she received an SMS message from her GP, Dr Brown with a new Sore Throat Florey for her to complete. 

Jenny is happy to answer the questions in the Florey at the next convenient time, feeling reassured that the questions are tailored to her specific enquiry. While filling out the Florey, Jenny wonders if she will have to go into the practice to have her throat examined, but notices that she is able to attach a photo as part of her response, and follows the guidance on how to take the best possible photo for her GP. She is also able to upload a temperature reading, which she takes using her thermometer at home.

Accurx's Floreys enable Jenny to upload photos of her symptoms remotely.

Jenny completes the Florey within a few minutes and is able to carry on with her day. After submitting it, she’s informed that someone will look at her answers and get back to her soon. Later that day, Jenny receives a message from Dr Brown. From the information and photo she provided, Jenny is prescribed a course of antibiotics by Dr Brown, which she is then able to pick up directly from her local pharmacy. 

Practice journey: Our new Accurx Sore Throat Florey

On the day that Jenny submits her medical request, Dr Brown is the GP triaging the Accurx inbox. When Jenny’s medical request comes into the inbox, Dr Brown sees that her request is suitable for a Florey quick reply. With the new quick reply functionality, Jenny can be sent the Sore Throat Florey straight from the Accurx inbox, allowing Dr. Brown to keep triaging other patient requests.

Jenny's practice is able to send her a Florey questionnaire in just a few simple steps.

Shortly after sending the Florey, Jenny’s response comes into the Accurx inbox. Dr Brown is confident that all the right information has been gathered and decides the sore throat is likely to be tonsillitis, which will need a course of antibiotics. Dr Brown issues an electronic prescription to Jenny’s preferred pharmacy and replies to Jenny via SMS, explaining the diagnosis, where her medication can be collected from and what to do if things don’t improve or get worse.

All of the correspondence, including Jenny’s answers to the questions and the photograph taken, are saved directly to the medical record with a click of a button. Dr Brown is confident in the decision to prescribe antibiotics and appreciates that the whole process could be completed in-between other work, while maintaining patient satisfaction. 

What are Accurx’s nine new Floreys? 

Our Sore Throat Florey is one of nine new Floreys our team has just released, each of these being tailored to different conditions, symptoms and circumstances. These include:

  1. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Florey for aiding HRT medication reviews 
  2. Adult ADHD Symptom Florey* for helping screen for potential adult ADHD
  3. Medication review Florey for gathering data to facilitate medication reviews
  4. Pre-Travel Florey for gathering data prior to travel appointments to facilitate vaccinations etc
  5. Pulse oximetry (Oxygen Saturation) Florey for allowing a patient to submit oxygen saturations and pulse rate remotely by using their own probe
  6. Lower Back Pain Florey 
  7. Cough Florey
  8. Sore Throat Florey**
  9. Single Skin Lesion Florey

How Floreys enable care outside of appointments

By enabling easy and effective triaging, Floreys help patients like Jenny to avoid 8:00am calls on-hold with GP practices, or long waits for appointments and prescriptions. Instead, patients can benefit from an open channel of communication that is tailored to their current need and helps speed up the data-gathering stage in finding the necessary solution.

Floreys also save staff precious time by gathering patient information in a fast and focused way. With all patient information saved directly to the patient record, Floreys help to build up a stronger pool of patient information so that clinicians can develop a fuller picture of a patient’s medical record over time. 

Just as our PIFU solution helps to reduce appointment demand in secondary care, our Floreys achieve this in primary care by resolving medical issues remotely wherever possible. Ultimately, two core parts of Accurx enable staff across health settings to provide care in a more seamless, timely and cost-effective manner.

For more on Floreys, please visit our Florey Plus Resource Centre, which contains useful articles and short demos, which will take you through how the product works step by step. You can also find a full list of our current Florey questionnaires here.

*Kessler, R.C., Adler, L., Ames, M., Demler, O., Faraone, S., Hiripi, E., Howes, M.J., Jin, R., Secnik, K., Spencer, T., Ustun, T.B., Walters, E.E. (2005). The World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS). Psychological Medicine, 35(2), 245-256 Copyright © World Health Organization 2003

**Floreys available in Lite