Case Study: NHS Rotherham CCG - How digital has enabled patients to get access to the right support at the right time

NHS Rotherham CCG is responsible for making sure that the people of Rotherham have the health care services they need. There are 29 GP practices, each with increasing demands and expectations from their patients to be able to manage their own health.

The CCG wanted to use digital health technology to empower patients and make it easier for clinicians to deliver high quality care, thus enabling patients to seamlessly navigate the health care system to get timely care, first time and with the right clinician. Substrakt Health partnered with Rotherham to ensure the Patient Pack® online consultation app was effectively localised, and NHS branded to best meet the needs of patients and services in the region.

Key benefits

  • Improved access to local health services
  • Makes the best use of clinicians’ time
  • Reduced unnecessary administration
  • Reduced DNA’s
  • Improved medication management
  • Enhanced patient experience

Creating an online patient platform

The app was set up and guides patients to book appointments 24/7 with the most appropriate clinician, enabling secure access to patient records and the ability to manage medication through a repeat prescription service without having to visit their GP Practice.

Enabling better use of clinical time

The app enables individual practices to define specific roles across the health care professionals available so that patients can navigate to the most appropriate individual for help within the practice. An indemnified symptom checker signposts patients to the most appropriate clinician and then makes it easy for them to book an appointment in the most convenient way for them, whether that is face to face, by telephone or by video for consultation.

When I heard about the Rotherham health app it sounded too good to be true, being able to book appointments in the practice without ringing, and order my medication seemed to really address the issues I was experiencing.”

Emily Croker, Patient

“The impact of the use of the app on the surgery is great. We have seen a reduction in telephone calls for appointments to the surgery. With over 25% of our appointments on the app and plans to increase that number, patients have access to a range of clinicians, dates and times so they can choose an appointment to suit them. The reduction in telephone calls enables the receptionists to provide a better service to all patients.”

Broom Lane Medical Centre

Secure patient record access

It was crucial that all patient data remained secure, so the app uses two-step security authentication and fully integrates with the primary care system, System One to enable full read and write back capability to the patient record.

Effective communication

The solution provides automatic appointment reminders, targeted health campaigns and appropriate health assessments through the app or via SMS to ensure faster and lower cost communication to relevant patients. This support personalises patient engagement and empowers self-management based on their health needs.

Ensuring clinical engagement and patient activation

Substrakt Health worked collaboratively with key stakeholders within at the CCG to ensure strong engagement and project management processes were adopted to effectively implement the health app. This included a programme to raise awareness, support training and drive adoption of the app through GP practice staff members, along with appropriate marketing materials for use in the practice to encourage patient registration and activation.

Working across the wider health economy

The app has the ability for patients to book outpatient appointments online and automatically receive targeted health advice and information based on their personal record to further improve health outcomes. Most recently, we added the ability for patients being treated for cancer to complete a pre-appointment questionnaire before attending their appointment, reducing the time spent in a hospital setting.

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