Demand Management FAQ

Dr Ben Brown
Dr Ben Brown
  • Updated

Demand Limiter

Can Patchs be configured to limit the number of patient requests?

  • Patchs offers full demand control. Practices can turn Patchs on/off at any time with 1-click. They can also set it to turn off out-of-hours. A customised message will be displayed to the patient.
  • Patchs also allows the practice to limit the number of requests by type (clinical/non-clinical), by day, and by hour of the day. Limits can also be set for individual staff members if they are on holiday or engaged in other activities. Here is some more information: request limiter (watch here) and by spreading demand in practice.

What message patients will see when a practice switches Patchs off?

They will see a message which the practice is able to customise itself. 

What happens to clinical requests coming into the admin inbox when all clinician capacity is saturated for that day?

Patients may try to misuse the system to submit clinical requests as admin requests when clinical slots are full. The Urgency AI, will analyse all requests and flag them if there is an emergency (to patient and practice) or it is urgent (practice only), to reduce clinical risk. To prevent misuse, we suggest making sure your Patchs request limits are spread throughout the day. This will encourage patients to wait for the next slot rather submit a request incorrectly.

How frequently do you need to configure the demand control? 

It is set once at the start and then amended as need. It can be set on a daily or hourly basis and for different types of requests (clinical/admin). It can be disabled manually at any time.


Booked Slots

How do booked slots help with demand management?

They allow you to schedule routine requests to be dealt with at a convenient time in the future. This allows you to manage non-on-the day demand, and prioritise on-the-day demand.

How far in the future can you schedule appointments in?

For booked slots there’s no limit. 

When a patient request has been assigned, is it possible for the patient to see what day (and possibly time) the request has been allocated to?

Should the request be assigned for a future date the patient will receive a notification advising them of the date it will be reviewed. This can be managed via Assigning requests to a particular date.

Can booked slots be linked to teams and within the teams’ individual users?

These are configured just for individual staff users.

For the availability of booked slots, is there a quick view for staff so they know how many slots a healthcare professional has available?

There is more detail on how booked slots work here. When a staff member assigns a slot to a user on a particular date, they can see how many of that user’s slots have been used up for that specific date. 

For booked slots and daily demand: If a request is received on date X but booked into a future slot on date Y, does it count as a request received on day X or day Y in terms of demand management?

  • It will count against the tally of allowed incoming requests on the day it was received (date X). So if the practice had set the demand management to only allow 10 requests on date X then once the patient submits their request there would only be 9 left for that date.
  • The booked slots feature is slightly separate, because it applies to assigning requests to staff members. When a request is assigned to a specific staff member on a specific date (date Y) it counts against their assigned tally. If someone tries to assign a request to a staff member who is ‘fully booked’ on a particular date then they will be shown a pop-up and have to confirm that they are going over that staff member’s slot count. 
  • Should a GP Practice wish to deal with request limits for future dates then it’s best to set them for individual staff members on the booked slots feature. 


High Usage Patients

How do you manage patients that are high users?

Practices have blocked patients who repeatedly over-use the system by disabling them in Patchs.

What will the ‘High Usage Patient-Management’ feature support GP Practices with?

We will give the practice the ability to limit the number of requests each patient can submit over a certain time-period and a report to allow the practice to identify these patients to work with them in different ways.


Was this article helpful?