A technological revolution is underway in local GP practices, thanks to a £1.6m investment programme led by NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and practice managers.
In perhaps the most eye-catching of these changes, 220,000 patient records have been securely scanned – saving money and freeing up space within every practice.
“For generations, every patient’s medical records have been stored in large ‘Lloyd George’ envelopes, named after the politician who created a health insurance scheme for working men in 1911,” said Dr Richard Scott, a local GP and Chair of NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
“This was a mammoth task, but it’s one of a series of changes that will help us increase efficiency and continue to improve services.”
With every practice’s records now fully digitised, North Tyneside’s NHS will save over £2,000 per week in storage charges, more importantly freeing up space to create multipurpose rooms for clinical use to benefit patient care delivery.
It’s one of a string of projects using technology to improve primary care services in North Tyneside. Digital information screens have been installed in most practices, providing helpful information for patients, while the CCG has also invested in 370 extra-large monitors to help GPs to access detailed patient records more efficiently.
North Tyneside is among the first areas to introduce 170 specialist connected laptops enabling GPs and practice nurses to check full patient records remotely while making home visits – improving both efficiency and patient safety.
Wally Charlton, Head of Improvement and Development at North Tyneside CCG said:
“The key is a dedicated CCG innovation group led by the CCG transformation team and practice managers who generate ideas and secure funding to ensure that we are forefront of using technology”
“We are also working hard to make it easier for patients use technology to access GP services – making it easier to go online and book appointments, view medical records and order prescriptions.”
North Tyneside is among England’s highest performing CCGs for helping patients use online services, with 25% of all GP appointments now available to book online, while many practices now have around a third of their patients registered for online bookings. To find out more about online services, patients should contact their practice for more details.