The Covid-19 situation has resulted in GP appointments happening in different ways, usually virtual, with very few patients being seen face to face by GPs.
This has resulted in an increase in patients not being aware that they have been referred as they are not being provided with the traditional paper copy of their Appointment Request letter (booking instructions). This situation has the potential to cause a delay to care.
Both the ability to send a patient an email with their booking instructions and the patients’ visibility of referrals through the NHS App, provide an opportunity to support non-face to face consultations, where a referral is the outcome. Encouraging patients to book their own appointments online can also save time and money for the practice and the wider NHS.
Most importantly, encouraging use of the NHS App and MYR will reduce the likelihood of patients not being aware of their referral or how to progress them.
Over 40% of e-RS appointments are booked by practice staff
Most of these patients could book their own appointments online. Encouraging patients to book their own appointments online could save practice time and the NHS money.
Did not attend rate halved
When patients book their own appointments, the did not attend (DNA) rate is halved. This means patients are treated in a timely way and practices do not need to refer these patients again.
Patients can manage their appointments 24/7
When patients book their own appointments they can check, change or cancel their appointment online any time of day without contacting the practice.
Only 27% of patients are aware they can book appointments online
Use the downloadable content below for your waiting room TV to encourage patients to book their own appointments online.