With emerging advanced technologies, there is a need to evolve and innovate to meet the diverse and changing requirements of patients. It is crucial to be prepared to make changes in the way interaction with patients is done to make sure that optimally effective and efficient care is offered.
Now, it is a fact that the majority of patient interactions with secondary care are via outpatient treatment programs. Now even though patient satisfaction is high, it is also true that numerous elements of outpatient journey do not always offer the best experience, it can be uninformative appointment letters, the journey, the appointment wait, often at inconvenient times, and in some cases, the repetition of the whole process when the referral was misplaced or a visit to another specialty is required. Thus, it would be pertinent to assume that the traditional model of outpatient treatment programs is no longer fit for purpose.
There are numerous things that can be undertaken to transform outpatient care for the better. For instance, technology has been helping transform the way hospitals and community services care for patients. Patients can now wear devices to accurately track their health, this is with respect to electronic records and referrals. Digital technology enables clinical note sharing, efficient reactive care systems, and requests for advice so that patients do not have to worry about routine follow-ups.
From quick outpatient appointments to ways that cut across varied clinical settings and diverse diagnostic facilities over many years, there is tremendous potential to manage such conditions, to rationalize the booking process, and to offer digital pathways in their entirety. The transformation of outpatient services has the potential to effectively impact on capacity in primary care.
Doing so offers honest conversations within local health communities, with patients, with colleagues in community service and primary care, and with experts across diverse specialties and providers, to make sure that the reforms are in the interests of all concerned and sustainable in the long term.
There must be increased use of technology to maximize opportunities for virtual care. It can be utilized for shared records and also to fetch remote MDT’s.
Various technological initiatives can be undertaken to place the patients at the center of the design and delivery of care and support staff to improve services. These transformations need to be undertaken to enable:
- Services wrapped around the patient and not the organization
- Optimized use of digital technology
- Improved patient experience
- High-quality patient safety and outcomes
- Improved working lives
- Value and efficiency for the money
Getting fit for the Future
The goal of transformation via technology is not only to automate the transactional aspects of care but to enable effective human interactions between doctors, patients, and their families. Steps can include:
- Alternative consultation formats such as virtual appointments or even chatbots.
- Web portals for uploading patient information and care-pathway management, in order to streamline the process and offer rapid access to patient medical histories.
- New payment models that create a comprehensive fee for a clearly defined episode of care, rather than paying providers for each service delivered in the treatment.
Compass Clinic is early in the evolution of many of these technologies and can expect them to advance in number and sophistication. This is a clear ambition of Compass Clinic both nationally and locally to offer streamlined digital service for patients and an expectation that we will need to invest to deliver this.
With modern technology, virtual clinic at Compass Clinic through telephone consultation, webform feedback, or video type tele clinics are all now possible.