A Camden-based Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is using an integrated clinical IT system to carry out rapid assessments on 50% of patients presenting themselves for emergency care.
By using this solution, which contains vital information from GP records, doctors and clinicians are able to discharge half of these patients at the front door with basic health advice.
Of those who remain, 40% are then directed to their own doctor or GP-staffed UCC for further investigation and treatment, while only 10% of assessed patients are sent on to the main emergency department.
The UCC is run by Haverstock Healthcare, a federation of all 37 GP practices in Camden and represents over 250,000 registered patients.
It claims that by treating 40% of A&E patients, emergency doctors and nurses cans focus their efforts on the most unwell patients, reducing waiting times and improving the overall quality of care.
“All of the GP practices in Camden use EMIS Web and we also have it in A&E. This means when patients arrive at the door, we are able to check their medical history with their consent and make fully informed clinical decisions,” claimed Haverstock Healthcare medical director Dr Mike Smith.
“Without their notes there is a risk of starting patients on a car journey that is not needed. For example, we are ordering fewer x-rays and blood tests than our emergency colleagues at other hospitals.
“EMIS Web helps make our job less time-consuming and arduous and enables us to work more effectively,” he added.
According to Dr Smith, the next step in joined-up care was to enable EMIS Web to send an e-discharge letter to patients’ own GPs, providing them with timely and accurate information about their patients visit to A&E.
“The majority of patients we see do not get sent back to their own GP. We send them home with written information on self-care, or to a pharmacist,” the medical director said.
“The website patient.info is a significant resource, as it empowers patients by providing them with information about their condition and how to manage it at home. We keep a stock of its leaflets printed out and ready,” he added.