Do patients have to register for a user account?
No. Patients do not have to register for an account they can submit a request as a 'Guest' or use the NHS Login or NHS App.
There are benefits for patients creating an account including:
- Only having to enter their information once when they register
- The GP practice will only have to check the patient is registered once (there is automatic patient matching but if the patient enters information that differs from the clinical system it will need to be checked by practice staff. This is true of all systems that don’t use registered accounts and can create unnecessary work for the practice)
- Patients can access a the ‘MyHealth’ section where they can view previous requests and advice, upload patient readings such as blood pressure, and complete LTC reviews.
- Patients can access Patient Facing Services – electronic prescription requests, appointment booking, and a patient view of the medical record
- It is more secure when sending patient messages because everything is password protected.
Can a care home have one account rather than multiple?
Yes. They can set up a carer account and then add their residents as proxy patients.
Do patients have to agree to the Patient End User Licence Agreement?
Yes. If the patient wants to use PATCHS they need to agree to the EULA as it sets out important responsibilities of the patient and practice, and expectations of how the software should be used. The patient is sent an email confirming their registration when they sign up. The patient can decline to use PATCHS and call the practice if they don’t agree with the EULA so they aren’t forced to provide consent. Patients are informed when the EULA is updated and they can choose to discontinue using PATCHS if they prefer.
What happens if non-registered patients try to use the service?
PATCHS automatically checks that a patient is registered at the practice when they submit a request/register. If it is unable to match the patient to the practice (using IM1/PDS) then it will highlight this to the practice to manually confirm whether the patient is registered or not. The request will be processed through the Urgency AI and will alert the patient if it is an emergency, and flag to the practice if it is an emergency or urgent. If the practice marks a patient as ‘not registered’ a message is sent to the patient informing them of this and they are blocked from submitting future requests with a message informing them they are not a patient at the practice.
If a patient accesses PATCHS but just wants a GP to call back, can they choose that option and avoid filling out all the triage information?
- When the patient submits a request online, the patient can say how they would like to be contacted including a call back by the GP. The patient is informed that the practice will do their best to fulfil the request, but it may not be possible. [This is an optional question that the GP practice can choose whether PATCHS asks]. The patient will still need to enter their symptom information. This is done so that the GP can read the information prior to calling the patient allowing them to prioritise call backs based on clinical need, are prepared for the call, and to reduce the time of the call (not necessary to re-state previously provided information on the call).
- An alternative approach is to make your telephone appointments available to be booked online using Patient Facing Services through PATCHS, then patients can book directly.
What file types does PATCHS support for image/document upload?
PATCHS allows png, jpg, jpeg and pdf.
If a patient flags that they are attaching an image of an intimate area does PATCHS pre-notify the practice before they open it and will it save to the clinical system?
Yes. The image is marked as intimate before staff open it and only accessible to clinicians. Staff can choose not to save the request to the clinical system.
Patients are warned not to upload intimate images unless requested by the practice.
How does PATCHS support digitally excluded patients?
We suggest that practices manage all their incoming and outgoing communications through PATCHS, to make the process quicker, easier, and more standardised. For incoming communications, non-digital requests (telephone/in-person) can be entered by a receptionist and the request managed in the standard way with follow-up communications with the patient made by telephone. For outgoing communications, messages can be sent via text to patients using the PATCHS SMS functionality in the normal way. A record of the communication is kept in PATCHS which can be updated based on follow-up communications and then saved directly to the patient record. PATCHS also provides access for carers (proxies) to submit requests on other people’s behalf. So PATCHS can support both digital and non-digital patients.
When questionnaires are sent to an individual patient, does this translate into their preferred language?
Yes. The patient can convert the questionnaire into their preferred language.
Does PATCHS meet WCAG 2.1 AA requirements?