To ensure both your practice and your patients see the benefits of using PATCHS, our research shows there are some key principles that should be followed.
- Always keep an eye on your PATCHS inbox. So you can see any new requests that come through to the practice or are assigned to you. This includes the Unassigned Inbox. We recommend always having at least one receptionist monitoring the Unassigned Inbox.
- Triage and respond to patients ASAP (this does not mean you have to completely resolve their request!). PATCHS requests are like phone calls - they're just a different way for patients to contact you. When a patient calls your practice using the phone, you try to answer and triage it as soon as possible - for both patient safety and experience reasons. This should be the same with PATCHS requests. This does not mean you have to resolve their whole request straight away, just that the request should be triaged and initially responded to. For example, this could be a holding message from a receptionist e.g. 'Thank you for contacting us, a GP will respond this afternoon'. See this article for more information.
- Receptionists should only make triage decisions on non-clinical requests. Any requests that require input from a clinician should be assigned to a clinician to deal with in PATCHS.
- Assign requests that need clinical input to a clinician. Don't book the patient a telephone or face-to-face appointment unless a clinician has made a triage decision in PATCHS saying they actually need one. This is important to better manage your resources, get patients a quicker response, and to teach PATCHS AI how to triage patient requests properly.
- Record triage decisions early and update them as necessary as you go. This is important to teach PATCHS AI how to triage patient requests as they come in, and make sure you get accurate information on your activity reports.
- Block slots for clinical staff to use PATCHS in their appointment calendars. We find you get the most benefit from PATCHS if you remove as many pre-booked appointments as possible and work from your PATCHS inbox instead.
- Limit the number of requests you receive if necessary. In an ideal world, PATCHS would be unlimited and turned on 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. But we understand practices only have a certain number of staff to deal with patient requests, and a certain number of hours in the day to deal with them.
- Spread demand if necessary. In an ideal world, you would deal with all patient requests on the same day they were submitted. But sometimes that isn't possible. Instead you can spread demand over the coming week or so. Read more about how to do this here.