GP using a computer for a remote appointment

Flexible care is key to addressing the elective care backlog

NHS waiting lists have hit a 14-year high and over 5.6 million patients are now waiting for elective care. This is further complicated by significant financial and workforce pressures, and rising Covid cases. As leveraging digital health is key to addressing these challenges, it was fantastic to see the Government’s recent commitment of £5.9bn to help clear the backlog as well as buy new equipment and improve IT.

Our digital solutions provide a useful tool to support elective recovery. We help reduce the administrative burden on the NHS while driving efficiency savings, enabling clinicians to focus on delivering the right care to the right patient at the right time.

We provide powerful but simple tools that clinicians and patients choose to use. Induction Zesty, Induction Attend Anywhere and Induction FormBuilder provide an end-to-end flexible care platform for hospitals, clinicians and patients that facilitates communication and improves healthcare.

Ahead of our appearance at the NHE365 conference, here are 3 key aspects of patient care that could be transformed by embracing flexible care at scale:

Patient-led appointment booking through Induction Zesty

By empowering patients to easily book and manage their outpatient appointments, our tools reduce the frequency of DNAs and free up capacity. Patients can choose when and if to schedule consultations, working around their day-to-day lives. They can also more easily cancel or postpone appointments rather than miss them entirely.

By digitising bookings, clinical letters, and copies of clinical records, we further reduce the administrative burden associated with these tasks and help deliver efficiency savings by accelerating the consultation process. This will be crucial to tackling the current waiting list backlog.

Video and telephone consultations using Induction Attend Anywhere (AA)

A shift towards greater remote consultations allows NHS Trusts and broader health systems to further free up capacity. Implementing flexible ways of working also helps improve staff retention and wellbeing as healthcare professionals value the ability to host virtual consultations and avoid rushing between rooms or even across hospital sites. Clinicians can even consult from home.

Induction Attend Anywhere has been developed specifically for healthcare to work in a similar way to in-person visits. Unlike conferencing tools where each patient is given a different link, our tool provides one link per clinic. Patients make an appointment with the relevant health service before visiting the website to start the appointment. They are taken to a virtual reception then an online waiting area before they are seen by their clinician.

Clinicians who have worked with AA have said it offers a more flexible and productive way of working, with huge potential to embed video consulting into redesigned clinical pathways.

It was encouraging to see the rapid embrace of digital health during the pandemic in recognition of the value that technologies like digital consultations bring to a highly pressured workforce. Ultimately, digital health will play an increasingly vital role in the future of healthcare though it should not be the default or only option available. Patients will also need choice.

Digital forms for patients enabled by Induction FormBuilder

Enabling clinicians to design and deploy digital forms is crucial to reducing the NHS administrative workload. Sharing digital pre-consultation forms with patients gives them the time and flexibility to complete these forms ahead of their appointment. As a result, patients provide more accurate information and clinicians have more time to prepare, so consultations can be more targeted and productive. Appointments then focus less on collecting information and more on understanding and responding to the needs of the patient.

Your partner in flexible care

As the NHS continues to tackle some of the greatest challenges it has ever faced it is crucial that we continue to embrace flexible care at scale. This will deliver improved outcomes and experiences, reduce the administrative burden and secure cost savings.

To find out more about the vital role of flexible care in elective recovery, come along to our keynote speech at the NHE365 Digital Transformation conference on 28th October at 11am - register here.

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