Dr Nigel Tapper and his team at Medical Corner Doctors in Rangiora have used a recent patient study and shared care plans to provide more flexible care and optimise appointment time.
Medical Corner Doctors is one Pegasus Health affiliated practice that uses Hikitia programme principles to improve patient care and business effectiveness. The principles include triaging, shared care plans, improved use of technology and capability building.
It’s expected that patients with the highest needs make the highest number of visits to their general practitioner. Dr Tapper saw this as an opportunity to change the way they work with these patients, continuing to provide optimal patient care while making the best use of resources.
He began with a yearlong study to identify the practice’s 20 highest attendees – ‘Addressing the Issue of High Attendees in General Practice – A Team Approach’.
Each of these high-attending patients was contacted, invited to join the study and had the process and outcomes explained to them. With their permission, their statistics were analysed, and their medical notes and list of current medications reviewed. The nurse and doctor then met with the patient and together created a care plan which detailed the patient’s needs and an action plan, as well as assigning them a care team. The patient had an alert on their file to indicate they were part of the study and therefore had a care team and care plan.
The care plan informed the whole team how to engage with the patient when they contacted the practice. When a study patient next got in touch, a nurse consulted their agreed care plan and enacted the best way to meet that need – be it a visit to the nurse, a prescription, the assistance of another health professional or an appointment with the doctor. If an appointment was made, both patient and doctor had a shared understanding of what needed to be addressed during that time.
Dr Tapper says the pre-agreed plan saved time in responding to the health concern and built on the patient relationship.
“Being able to connect each time with the same nurse or doctor, who they knew had a thorough knowledge of their individual health record, increased the level of trust with our patients,” says Dr Tapper.
At the conclusion of 52 weeks the study provided positive results. Visits from the highest attending patients reduced on average from 16 doctor visits per patients to 12 visits. That’s a saving of around 4 doctor days. The high standard of patient care was maintained and business effectiveness increased.
You can read more about Hikitia and how it works here.
To contact one of the Hikitia team at Pegasus Health, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Read the full July newsletter here