Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, GIG Cymru, NHS Wales
A familiar story that we hear from many Practices is that the demand on Primary Care has reached an all-time high, and it’s gaining momentum with no signs of slowing.
Here we take a look at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and speak to one of their Practice Managers, Leanne Light, who quickly found that the more her Practice used our Workflow programme, the more they got out of it.
What was Practice life like before the Workflow programme?
“As a Practice struggling to recruit and retain GP’s we looked at all measures to try and ensure our own sustainability. The first step we took was upskilling of staff. We started with the obvious, Practice Nurses to Nurse Practitioners, Phlebotomists to Health Care Assistant’s – and whilst this had a huge impact it still wasn’t enough.
“The requests for telephone triage were spiraling out of control and with a drive on increased communication between the Practice and outside sources like secondary care and third party organisations, it seemed that administrative paperwork was now the reason we were fire-fighting.
“We all speak of becoming a paperless practice, when in fact the reality is quite the opposite.”
How simple was the implementation process?
“As a Practice we were spending huge man hours chasing pieces of paper around the practice, and staff members recalled sighting information but were not sure when or with whom the paper now resided. Then Workflow was born…
“We employed a data processing clerk as our Workflow Administrator to work 36 hours per week, whose sole purpose was to scan, code, and ‘Workflow’ according to in-house GP training. Now all of our reception staff have the skills to support the data processor in his role during periods of absence, and this frees up huge GP hours.
“The GPs have worked tirelessly to educate and support staff to build their confidence to Workflow effectively. GPs no longer need to waste hours reading every piece of correspondence sent to the Practice, especially when this is time better spent examining patients.”
What impact has been seen in the Practice?
- Our GPs now only view paperwork that asks for clinical opinion or input.
- Requests for repeat blood test and blood pressure monitoring are organised by staff.
- Do Not Attend (DNA) appointments are simply recorded.
- Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) data is taken from correspondence, now reducing the need to repeat tests or investigations, again saving appointment time and reducing patient inconvenience.
“The more we use Workflow, the more we benefit from Workflow. Anything now forwarded to a GP is appropriate. If staff send anything unnecessary to the GP, this is identified as a training opportunity which can be reviewed with clinical staff or the Practice Manager.
“Before Workflow, when GPs had 50 papers to read a day, they would put it off until convenient, if there was such a thing! Now with only a handful of papers a day, they quickly move them on in a bid to keep their Workflow inbox empty, and the sense of satisfaction that this generates.
“This Workflow training absolutely reinforces what we already knew and has extended the role and improved staff confidence. The Workflow Administrator’s role is as important as the Clinician’s in improving patient care, and actually increases the time and effectiveness that requests are dealt with.
“All the staff love Workflow, it is fully auditable and everyone can see it without the need to hunt high and low.”
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board was established in 2009 and covers areas of Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, Torfaen and South Powys.
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