In 2015 the private GP surgeries market in the UK was estimated to be worth £550M. One provider in particular established a brand new state-of-the-art purpose-built facility in the UK and needed to source an integrated communications solution to support its complex patient interaction and follow-up care.
As a private healthcare business, the patient experience is central to its customer service, so finding the right communications solution was paramount.
Initially, the healthcare provider identified the need for a Nurse Call system for installation in bathrooms and patient consultation rooms. A member of the practice team or patient would be able to summon help immediately when assistance was needed.
The healthcare provider requested a consultation with Multitone Electronics and while working in close consultation together, it soon became clear that there were opportunities to use a more powerful tailored communications tool. This would not only provide a Nurse Call system, but also manage the clinic’s communications and enhance the patient experience. With a highly busy practice, the solution would need to be simple to use, yet efficient, secure, discreet and sensitive to the confidential medical environment.
The practice has a large team with approximately 100 members of staff working at the facility. There are 16 GPs at the medical clinic and each is assigned a team of two HCAs (Health Care Assistants) who work specifically with them. It is vital these teams stay in close contact, without disturbing other teams or patients.
Rather than using a relatively simple Nurse Call device with hard buttons, as originally specified for the consultation rooms, Multitone introduced 30 tablet devices with customised touchscreen buttons that would offer greater message flexibility. Additionally, 20 mobile devices carried by responders enable the recipient to react to the message received whilst simultaneously and automatically capturing proof of delivery and read receipts for management reporting.
Coupled with the Multitone Appear app, the solution provides voice, images and text messaging facilities, with the ability to set restricted groups for confidentiality. It also provides receipt of messages with a full audit trail.
Additionally, Multitone i-Message ensures that the practice management team has a full view of alarms as they are triggered. This top down view ensures any situation can be proactively managed to protect the safety of patients, visitors and staff.
Using the Multitone solution, the healthcare facility not only has its initially specified Nurse Call facility, but also fully secure media-rich and voice communications. The compact handsets can be used discreetly by GPs and HCAs around the facility, with minimum fuss or disruption to patients and staff.
As the patient progresses through their visit, staff use their dedicated handset and the Multitone Appear app buttons to update their patient consultation notes. This not only provides a flow of care for the patient, but also ensures each stage is completed fully and added to their medical records, for safety and compliance monitoring.
Husam Al-karnaz, Solutions Architect at Multitone, commented, “This integrated messaging solution ensures the practice communications play a pivotal role in the safe and efficient running of the facility. This is maintained throughout the process, from the patient entering the facility, through the administration phase, on to the visit with the doctor and back to reception after treatment.”