A friend recently revealed a research project they’re currently working on What does a great Primary Care Digital offer look like?’ We talked some regarding GP websites and how we connect with patients. I shared my usual random rants. I decided to share some of my thoughts with you. seek your opinions.
The introduction to this project
When I learned about this study, my first reaction was to inquire whether I could be a part of the research team too. First, I wanted sure that someone who had worked within general practices could give an operational viewpoint. Also, I wanted to stay clear of “a solution” that could add more stress to already stretched staff members of the practice. I’ve been a Practice Manager for the past 8 years, and working with Patients Groups for over 15 years, I’ve always had an keen interest in using digital technologies to share information and have made a few connections within the realm of user experience and digital design. It seemed like a good chance to collaborate to tackle this. Like many practices, we realized that our site needed a revamp We had registered with our Web hosting service provider back in 2012. We’ve, although we’ve tweaked it a little and tweaked it a bit, we haven’t really altered its appearance since. There have been updates to software however, as we’d been preparing for signing up with a new organization for a while I was constantly thinking that we’d wait until we could create an integrated practice website with an official look and improved capabilities. This is the first question. As an individual or a caregiver who do you get data from your GP surgery? Take a look at the practice’s website and look up the date it last updated. Then check if it does include the information I require? What else is there that you did not know about? If you’re dealing with a health concern, where can you go to find information? Tell me about it and I will try to can direct you to this.
Why are websites not up-to-date?
The reasons for the inability to update websites regularly can be numerous, but most of them are due to the pressure of time. I was also concerned that if we altered design, I would be bombarded by patients who want to know where the items had been moved to similar to the way you move items through the aisles of the supermarket. Although we are adding information frequently but the process isn’t very user-friendly The site’s layout and formatting aren’t easy to use and, from a clinical standpoint this is just another task to be done.
Value for money or is it too costly?
The cost of launching a new website is another problem. The larger (or more well-funded) practices could choose to invest in a custom-designed product, while smaller practices might consider it an additional extra expense. A quality website will provide the best value for money, particularly in providing patients with details about the appropriate service for their needs , or hyperlinks to local, pertinent information on health issues and prevention of disease and self-care. The top priority for the health care system currently is to encourage people to make use of services in a responsible manner. In the NHS is so complicated and difficult to navigate. How do people know where to go? visit 111, your local walk-in centres or general practice, a specialist community services, A&E – the list continues. General Practice is considered to be the primary entry point into the NHS therefore the idea is that it’s their responsibility to direct patients. However, does it actually fall to the GPs responsibility to explain all of the available options? A well-designed and informative website will allow easy access to information and effective signposting of services without waiting in a phone waiting room. Many practices however purchase the most basic off-the-shelf website, based on templates costing less than PS500 annually and provide very little guidance on what to do within the NHS. Perhaps, all of those services should include information on what time to visit the GP?
From a visitor’s standpoint, we cannot more access page views, which means we aren’t able to determine the number of people who visit our site or if the information we collect is useful. The subject of analytics for websites is not well-known to many practitioners.
Functionality – Frontfacing with back office?
There are web-based services who not only host data but also collect patient data by using online forms. They aim to stream patient inquiries to specific teams i.e. administrative, medication queries as well as clinical services (e.g. asthma questions). These forms are often paired with other’Online consultation forms. These websites are helping practices in the process of completing important data capture as well as offer a method of triage however, how can practices be protected from the risks i.e. data protection, clinical good practice etc. Certain practices are cautious about opening new channels to accept other work streams, particularly since not all integrate with the practice’s Clinical Health Record system, which means that clinical coding isn’t available. It is possible that these functions are considered not as “additional” rather as alternative methods to handle inquiries; better than having to make a time with a GP for a question that is not clinical, right?
A majority of website providers offer back office or intranet functionality for their practices to organize and store data like room schedules, contact lists as well as staff rotas for major events such as fridge temperatures, guidelines and procedures and procedures. They are utilized by the entire team and aid in appraisal preparation and proof of compliance to regulators. In the present, these functions are getting replaced by more efficient tools for collaboration and compliance like GPTeamnet, Fourteen Fish etc
Do you know if practices have the appropriate design and communication capabilities?
I’m not ashamed to admit, I’ve got “font and layout’ concerns. the limitations of text styles annoys me, and I’m not happy in this position with all the other tasks to complete and I’ve never been able to take the effort to properly use it and I’m aware that many Practice Managers are similarly. I also lack the ability to design the layout work or include images or graphics that are able to replace written words.
Get in touch with our experts for GP surgery website design.
Although templates have several alternatives to pick from however, the layout and design capabilities can be a bit unwieldy and awkward. It’s pretty easy to distinguish the difference between a custom, high-quality design from an off the shelf template. The majority of businesses wouldn’t be able to determine where to begin with regards to putting the most used pages or items in the front of the page or designing attractive designs that entice users and communicate effectively.
NHS Digital have kindly provided guidelines that we can follow – I have shared it with other practices and it is unlikely that anyone has gone through it or made any modifications as a result. I’m sure I’ve missed the time.
This is a part of NHS Digital, creating standards that are designed to guarantee accessibility and inclusion as well as a good user experience. A lot of websites don’t take into account the ever-growing need for a good designs and procedures that are accessible. with the expectation that their site is compliant with the legal standards for accessibility and inclusiveness. This guide is ideal for designers but it is beyond the knowledge and skill that is required for most practices. I’m not sure how to begin evaluating our current service provider against these requirements. What is important is that any company offering an online service could demonstrate they meet the requirements of this standard to allow customers to be verified prior to buying.
NHS Generic information repeated?
The latest GMS GP contract requires practices to maintain an up-to current and accurate online presence before the year 2020 (page 35). If we choose to take the ‘Digital First’ method for those who decide to do this, websites’ primary purpose is being replaced by many other services. There are apps everywhere, here, and everywhere, and many practices make use of social media platforms to communicate information quickly and widely in addition to traditional posters and newsletters in the clinics. There are numerous online services available or options for patients to access these services using alternative browsers to the web.
However, don’t ignore that NHS.UK (not known as NHS Choices any more) has already developed a distinctive website for each practice, and certain of the National data for links to performance on this website i.e. star ratings and feedback on the service provided. The practice’s web presence has been an basic General Medical Services contract requirement for some timenow, however I doubt that many practices are updating their NHS.uk one , or their own. The majority of them will link to their personal website. Therefore, every practice will have hyperlinks to GP survey feedback stars, star ratings and who’s who, as well as when we’re open, etc. across multiple locations. This is yet another reason why we have outdated information. Connection to NHS.uk is made by the clinic system provider (i.e. which online services are linked) which feeds the national contract management tools such like The Primary Care Web tool. It’s also the place in which CQC will seek feedback and suggestions.
Primary care networks working as primary care
As more practices merge and join together to offer shared services, access and information should be made available on the same page, and not duplicated across different websites. While some practices prefer to maintain their own “front door’ in order to ensure that they remain a familiar place for patients, many will gladly give up the back office’ responsibility of updating their websites in conjunction with other NHS websites and other services.
Social Media, Reviews , and Comments
The next phase of the process is interesting as patients ‘check in’ and reflect on their experience with tools such as Facebook, Google review and I Want Great Care . These platforms invite patients to “like” or leave comments after attending Practices can decide to own these websites and either respond or deny but cannot remove comments, so they remain in the open for other users to see with no response. Some practices don’t like this and are extremely concerned of security breaches and creating new channels for communication. They might have had an unpleasant experience with social media and don’t want the task of training staff members to be safe and professional in a field that crosses into leisure and other activities outside of work.
If used with care social media is an efficient alternative ways of communicating that are suitable for users on mobile devices. The recent blog post from one clinic reached over 1 million people to inform them of cervical screening. This is a way to encourage interaction, not one-way push of information and can be able to reach a large audience quickly and with minimal effort.
Practices are increasingly using messages and social media to interact with patients or groups, as well as whole parts of the practice population and also provide opportunities for “communities of interest” and large-scale communication in federated levels of General Practice. This must be a an integral part of any new communications system.
Internet access for online service
As more and more services are offered online, developers of applications offer more efficient options to GP practice’s website to facilitate transactions such as making appointments, cancelling appointments placing orders for medicines, etc. The market approach is being applied to the creation of these services online and practices struggle to keep up and train their staff to provide information and guidance on the various options available to patients. Each app seems to offer various functions, which means that the your choice of app will be based upon the requirements of the patient.
According to the service provider, certain websites provide a link to a practice’s medical system for online services, but they can only provide the same online service but do not offer multiple choices. While patients have the option of choosing among a variety of ways for online services at the moment websites haven’t yet enabled the option. This is a problem for patients and practices when they want to provide and avail a range different online options. The only way to accomplish this is to use widgets instead of weblinks applications to promote the possibilities to patients. Four of the current providers: Evergreen Life, Patient Access, Dimec and Iplato all have apps that allow access to messaging, cancellation, booking prescriptions medical records viewer, but not all offer browsers. In contrast, some online consultation services only use browsers. The NHS app is expected to launch in the near future however we don’t exactly how this will connect to a website for practice or a browser.