Providing Innovative Patient Focussed Care

Dr Flora Gilkison the new General Manager at Masterton Medical who has a strong management background says; “Core to any change is being patient focussed from booking the appointment, through the consultation, script and results process. This is the hallmark for good practical primary care.”

Several areas have been identified as slowing the process for the patient and after careful consideration the following changes to our systems will be made. These changes are in line with the Minister of Health’s desire that primary care practices along with their DHB adopt a Health Care Home model which has three key strategies:

  1. Where prevention is key, e.g. By giving advice and help to stop smoking, will stop long term lung disease including cancer. By managing eating habits better and increasing activity will help stop obesity and Type 2 diabetes. By checking blood pressure this can alert the GP to hidden symptoms of disease.
  2. Better systems to enable the patient to flow through the appointment and consult process without as many waits and hold ups.
  3. For those with long term conditions the Health Care Home model means setting up a plan for “a year of care” rather than having to respond to crises. All in all the changes are designed to give more holistic health care rather than GPs trying to fit multiple requests for care into a fifteen minute slot.

Flora says that Masterton Medical Ltd is responding to the Health Care Home strategies, in the following ways.

One is encouraging more people to sign into Manage my Health an APP they can download to their smart phone or through their computer.

One of the advantages of this is the patient can book a routine appointment with their GP at a convenient time as they can see the doctor’s available appointment times.

Secondly a patient can book a GP phone consultation rather than having to come into the practice. For some patients this will be good news indeed, as the consult can take place at a guaranteed time and there is no need to take up to half a day off work. A standard consultation fee will be charged but if the patient after talking to the GP still needs to come in then there won’t be a further consult charge.

Thirdly we are having more nurses working directly with the doctors to be more proactive in providing enhanced health care and health maintenance opportunities. This means that the patient’s time with the GP is better focused on the actual problem and the GP will already have most of the results.

In light of this Masterton Medical has redesigned the phone systems to try to get rid of the endless wait times and that messages like “you are sixth in the queue” do not happen nearly as often as they do. From the 6th April when you ring into Masterton Medical there will be 5 options.

    • 1 will be for an appointment.
    • 2 for a repeat script.
    • 3 for results – this will be leave a message and we will phone or text you back, remembering most results are normal and so a text can be sent.
    • 4 if you are a health professional e.g. a pharmacist or a consultant at the DHB or another GP
    • 5 if you want accounts information

This means we can free up the nurses who were answering the phones and they are able to work more closely with the patients, especially for urgent cases where patients are able to be treated in our treatment bays with an on the day appointment.

We will also be shifting our enrolments away from the front reception desk to another reception area so that people new to the practice can enrol in a quieter place and not feel as though they are holding up the queue.

The third aspect of the Health Care Home is to ensure those patient who have a Long Term Condition have an active “year of care” plan. This is done in partnership with the patient and will help them have more involvement in their healthcare decisions.

In the past we have offered a discount for early payment, this costs us and has hampered our ability to provide enhanced technology and equipment to better care for our patients. From the beginning of April the patient discount for payment on the day will no longer apply.

On the plus side we should then be able to purchase more diagnostic equipment which will again smooth the patient journey and the benefits for the patient can be easily seen.

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