The UK may now be past the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, but the NHS continues to rely on a collaborative response from the health sector to stay buoyant. Answering the call of duty, health-tech industry leaders DrDoctor and Intouch with Health have joined forces in a partnership to deliver a fully integrated virtual consultation and digital pathways solution to NHS Trusts.
DrDoctor’s Video Consultation solution and Intouch’s integrated Virtual Clinics Management Suite were scheduled for release in late 2020, but both companies expedited the development and launch of their software to help alleviate the strain on our hospitals. The consequent integration of virtual and video consultation services immediately benefits both clinicians and patients. Operational inefficiencies, such as authenticating the patient’s identity and matching them to their appointment and doctor, can now be eradicated.
The pain of clinicians having to navigate multiple apps and screens during virtual services can also be consigned to the past. By connecting the DrDoctor patient portal to the Intouch Patient Flow Platform patients will be able to manage all their appointments, launch video consultations, complete digital assessments forms and even check-in for their in-person appointment from one place. From within the platform, Clinicians will be able to manage their complete clinic caseload – face-to-face, video or phone as well as record their follow-up requests.
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DrDoctor’s offerings have proven to be the most innovative and sophisticated in the market, with its end-to-end solution for appointments, digital pathways and its proprietary video technology being widely lauded by practitioners. CEO of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Trust Dr. Ian Abbs has encouraged colleagues within the NHS “to come and see the system live, and to work out the benefits it could have for their patients and organisation”. New software allows clinicians to onboard patients by simply sending out Broadcast Messages, with the option to filter by clinic. Furthermore, doctors are afforded the advantage of having oversight of upcoming appointments in a virtual waiting room. Unique appointment links avoid the need for multiple patients in one virtual room and remove the risk of “gatecrashers”.
As well as addressing immediate needs, the DrDoctor-Intouch partnership will ensure a lasting impact on the delivery of care across the country. Embedding new tech will help trusts solve inevitable backlog issues, manage the risk of delaying treatment, and continue providing timely and reliable support to every patient. Integrated virtual clinics and video consultation services allow for greater long-term condition management, creating a new normal for digitally enabled hospitals where patients can self-manage and easily access care.
DrDoctor founder Tom Whicher says “Beyond the current crisis is a secondary looming threat – the backlog of routine patients who’ve had their care delayed or cancelled. Up to 50% of non-essential care has been cancelled, leaving millions of people waiting for treatment.
It’s important to explore the solutions hospitals will need to deal with this pent-up demand as we look to the next 6-12 months. Beyond that, it’s likely that healthcare will never look quite the same, so we’ve developing tools to help patients and doctors with the new normal, and tools to care for and treat patients in a new way.”
Mike Sanders, CEO at Intouch with Health echoed the sentiment: “It is essential that suppliers can deliver the functionality and integration that is required to ensure ease-of-use and ROI in healthcare settings. A key focus for us has been how to support the NHS marry up the patient and the clinician and collate all the relevant data from these remote consultations and put that into the necessary systems to aid efficiency. That is the challenge hospitals are facing.
Through close cooperation and collaboration, we are able to provide users with one cohesive, integrated system that has been designed specifically for the healthcare environment, incorporating the complexity of patient flow and organisational efficiencies.”