Tips to tackle winter pressures in your GP practice

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Winter is coming. How can Evergreen Life help you with tackling the seasonal pressures in your GP practices?

With the impending cold weather comes the peak of the flu season, the Norovirus, and an increase of ailments like asthma attacks, dry skin and painful joints. What if we could help relieve some of these seasonal strains facing GP practices?

What are GP practices’ winter pressures?

Although hospitals and the A&E crisis tends to plaster the news headlines, the vast majority of NHS’s patient interactions take place in general practice. In winter, you’ve got a lot of people coming into the surgery with seasonal illnesses on the rise and flu vaccinations to get through.There’s a lot more to cope with and less days to do that in with the Christmas holidays.

But not only is this happening over winter, NHS services are under strain all year-round. So, what steps can you take to prevent this pressure building up?

How to reduce your winter pressures

1. Get your patients online

If 30% of patients used full record access at least twice a year, your GP practice would save 10% of appointments and hundreds of calls. This is according to a case study carried out at Manchester GP practice Manor House. There are clearly huge benefits for both patients and practices for allowing GP online services access.

In a survey conducted by Evergreen Life in October 2018, over 40% of health professionals strongly agree that making appointments and prescriptions available to book or order online relieves the pressures on practices. It frees up phone lines, saving you time and effort, and allows time for other tasks during the busy winter period.

GP online services that Evergreen Life offers to patients includes:

  • Ordering repeat prescriptions online (and with the option for free home delivery)
  • Booking appointments online
  • Accessing GP record

As patients can view their GP-held medical record 24/7, this puts them back in control of their health so they can stay well whilst they’re away from primary care.

2. Transform how you communicate with patients

With our healthcare messaging service in Evergreen Life, you can tailor a targeted message to your users to promote the influenza clinic. This completely transforms doctor-patient communications, putting your knowledge in their hands.

3. Revolutionise the way patients manage their medications

Keeping up with what medications to take, when, and how often can become quite overwhelming for your patients. Whilst checklists and pillboxes can be useful, a survey by Russell Research (2018) has found that tech-based tools are actually more helpful for improving medication adherence.

With apps like Evergreen Life, your patients can keep an up-to-date medications record and set medicine reminders, so they never miss a pill. Because of this, patients may attend less if they’re well-treated and practising good self-care.

It can also improve the treatment your GPs give patients, as you can be completely aware of what medicines your patients are taking and whether they’re taking them correctly. This is because the app asks patients questions when they download their GP-held medication record such as ‘are you still taking this medication?’ Patients can input information to inform clinicians whether the dosage or medication has changed. This can help GPs tailor their treatment and help keep records completely up-to-date in-between surgery visits.

4. Join up your patient’s health information

A personal health record (PHR) empowers patients to always be in control, being able to add to and have access to medical records wherever they are and whenever they want. You can also share any of the information with others quickly and easily when it's needed by giving trusted access to your records to those who matter most.

Overall, with the ability to add information about allergies, vaccinations, and health documents, your patients can stay well this winter through better self-care and management of their own health conditions.

How can you get your patients online?

Getting patients to use GP online services can be a tricky task – with only 40% of health professionals believing that their patients are aware of online record access according to our recent survey.

The key is to raise awareness of the benefits online services offer patients. So, how can we help? Evergreen Life can help get patients online to make things just that bit easier over the winter period, so you can continue smashing your targets!

Take advantage of our help!

We have a library of support articles and friendly support desk to help you and your patients get set up with the app:

Written by
Evergreen Life

Article updated:
December 7, 2018
Reviewed by:
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