Whiteladies Medical Group
“The number one benefit of Chain SMS is that it improves safety of patient prescribing. We know we are doing a better job.”
“We had a recent IT update that took Chain SMS off our practice computers. Everyone kept asking ‘Where is my Chain? Can we fix this now?’” Chain SMS has clearly become part of the furniture for staff at Whiteladies Medical Group in Bristol. Lee Salkeld, GP Partner, tells me about how this 16,500-patient practice, not far from Clifton’s famous suspension bridge, has quickly adapted to a newer, more efficient way of communicating with patients.
“We picked it up quickly – it’s very straightforward”
Lee explained that the list of how the practice staff use Chain SMS goes on and on: patient advice leaflets, prescription collection information, reminders for medication reviews…the practice staff continue to come up with new ways of using the software.
Out of all of these uses, what is the key benefit Whiteladies Medical Group gains from using Chain SMS? “The number one benefit is that it improves safety of patient prescribing.” Meaningful patient outcomes are what we live for at accuRx, and Lee expanded on this statement: “for example, I had a patient who had not had azathioprine monitoring bloods since December despite endless messages written on his prescription. He just ignored them. I sent him a text with Chain SMS, and two days later I was reviewing his bloods.” Lee reflected, “patients are more likely to read a text than open mail.”
“Sending patients information through SMS is very powerful.”
It wasn’t hard for Whiteladies Medical Group to adjust to this new form of communication. “We have a number of practice protocols already in place, so it was easy for staff to get going as they were already messaging patients about blood tests.” In fact, the practice was already using another platform to text patients. They have now switched to using Chain SMS for most SMS communication with individual patients. Why was this? “The two key elements are interoperability and immediacy. You only have to log into EMIS, which we need to do anyway. Chain SMS links immediately to the patient record.”
“We know we are doing a better job.”
At accuRx we love to hear about real improvements to patient safety and experience. However, we also strive to make GP staff lives easier and more enjoyable at work. Resilience – currently a buzz word in primary care – can only occur if staff have the help they need to do their job to the best of their ability. Lee talked me through how Chain SMS has helped with this. “We’re communicating clearly with patients. It makes us feel a lot happier in our job, doing the best we can. Chain SMS is straightforward software which enhances patient care. It lowers stress and increases job satisfaction.”
There isn’t much more to add to these comments, but as a team we are celebrating that Chain SMS is improving patient safety in general practice and giving GP staff back the sense of a job well done.