We have been looking at how we can improve access for patients, directing them to the right service for their specific health needs and have made available a digital consulting service.
With DoctorLink patients can access health advice online via the Internet. Registration to this service is quick and simple and available via Acorn Surgery website.
When patients need to see or speak with one of our Clinicians, rather than telephoning (and potentially waiting in a queue if the lines are busy), they can access the symptoms assessment tool via DoctorLink. This asks the patient a number of questions to help to identify the problem. The outcome of this assessment will direct the patient to the right treatment, whether emergency care, self-care or their GP Practice.
If the outcome of the assessment indicates that an appointment with our Clinical Team is required, a communication is sent to a dedicated email box at the Practice which is regularly monitored and each one passed on to a Clinician. Patients will then be contacted by a member of the Practice Team to indicate the next steps, whether this is the offer of a telephone consultation, a same-day face-to-face appointment or an appointment for another day.
The online consultation will also be saved to the patient’s medical record so that all relevant details are documented.
Although the outcome of the online consultation via DoctorLink may state “You need to see a doctor in the next 12 hours/next 3 days” etc. a GP may not be the most appropriate professional to deal with the problem, so when the patient is contacted by us about the next steps, they will be advised who the appointment will be with, which may or may not be a doctor.
We hope patients will find this new digital consulting service a useful option in accessing care at our Practice.