Cloud communications provider X-on has developed the GP@Home service with the aim of allowing doctors to provide patients with the same level of care from home as in a surgery setting.
The technology was developed in close collaboration with GPs, and its product suite integrates with major clinical systems such as EMIS and TPP’s SystmOne, which are used by doctors’ surgeries to hold patient information – with GPs able to switch from phone to video consultations in one click.
Being able to access this directly whilst on a phone call helps save time for GPs and surgery staff, which is vital now as the country is gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
GP IT expert Dr Neil Paul, who practises in Cheshire, has been trialling GP@Home, and has been ‘really impressed’ with how it can help doctors work more safely in light of the pandemic, and allow home workers to answer the phone as if they were sat in the surgery.
He said: “It solves the ‘I don’t want to use my own phone to make hundreds of calls to patients’ problem, which is affecting thousands of practices across the country.”
GPs across London are some of the first in line for the technology, which has been developed by X-on by listening to the needs of general practice.
Six hundred practices already use X-on’s Surgery Connect to provide the public with access to information about the virus, and many are using the companion technology Video Connect so they can switch from phone to video call with a click on a link. The patient does not need to download an app, and the doctor does not have to schedule when a video consultation will take place.
Dr Barry Sullman, Newham GP and Clinical Commissioning Group clinical lead, said: “This is a game changing piece of software that has allowed my practice to perform normally through the COVID-19 crisis. It’s business as usual for me – and Video Connect plays a key role in delivering that.
“Video call quality is extremely high and supports remote diagnosis. By being able to diagnose a diverse range of conditions such as skin rashes reliably, and by being able to assess the clinical condition of a patient confidently through high quality video, face to face appointments at the surgery are saved, which in turn increases the access capacity of the surgery. The technology also records the phone or video call, and links it to the clinical record, so that doctors can refer back to the information if required.”
X-on is offering free teleconferencing services to regional health providers as they collaborate around their response to the pandemic, with multiple primary care networks and commissioning groups having taken up the offer.
X-on managing director Paul Bensley said: “The digital transformation of your local family doctor is taking place at an incredible pace and scale. It is vital that we leave no-one behind, and so it is essential that we make sure that the phone can meet the current needs of patients and professionals, but also those for the long term as they make the move to ‘digital-first’ primary care. Digital telephony is enabling hundreds of practices to put in an equitable, future proof digital front door to primary care.”