What’s the problem?
- There are around 10,000 GP practices in the UK, served by 60,000 practising GPs, 17,000 of whom work peripatetically as locum GPs.
- To safely, effectively and efficiently manage patients, all these GPs need to know about 200 different non-clinical items of information about practice processes affecting safe patient management (e.g. managing test results, referrals, handover arrangements, prescribing procedures etc) and how the practice interacts with local resources such as guidelines, policies, contact information - much of this specific to the practice.
- There is too much for an individual remember, even for an established GP in that practice as this information changes frequently, and arrives from different sources.
- Inaccurate information can cause delays, increase costs and affect patient safety.
- Research conducted by the NASGP found that, on average, GP partners spend 20 minutes a day, and locums 40 minutes a day, having to ask someone else about this information. Equating just 20 minutes per day across the profession amounts to over 1 million hours a year, and that doesn’t even factor in the time of the person they’re asking, let alone the poor patient’s time.
What’s the solution?
- A secure practice-specific, centralised, instantly updateable, searchable and navigable tool that enables all relevant staff to share and access all this information, 24/7, even from a patient’s home.
- All this, and more, is solved by NASGP’s Standardised Practice Information Portal (Spip).
Centrally updatable directory of services?
- Within Spip is its centrally updatable directory of services - Cudos.
- Cudos is Spip’s internal relational database, allowing the practice to add and link resources (a person to a department, a service to a hospital, or a pathway or referral form to a service for example), removing the risk of duplication and out-of-date information.
- Resources such as guidelines, pathways, policies and referral forms can be added by link or upload.
- The practice manager can then select any resource from Cudos (a name, phone number, document, text, email etc) and instantly display it within Spip, ready for the GP or nurse to easily find at the point of need when seeing patients.
- In addition to the information within Cudos, the practice manager can also further enrich this information with even more highly detailed practice-specific information to ensure that the clinician fully understands how to implement this information in the context of that particular practice
- A local GP network, such as a CCG or hospital trust, can independently populate its own ‘Network-Cudos’ that it can make available to its local practices, further widening the distribution of information and further reducing duplication - arriving March 2016.
What else can Spip do?
- Messaging - any member of that practice’s team, including locums, can send and receive messages, even from home.
- Service reporting - clinicians can report concerns about services they and their patients are using to the practice manager, that can be further escalated to their group or network.
- Message board - allows practice managers and their GP network to share information and best practice through social media style status updates.
- Staff induction - general practice often involves the communication of critical, complex information to patients from administrative staff. Spip can help bridge the gap of experience, qualification and training by presenting this information simply and at the point of patient need.
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