When a patient submits a request through Patchs, it will first appear in the Unassigned Inbox.
Click on the request in the Unassigned Inbox to open it. Doing this will show the patient's registration status.
Patients are automatically verified using the Patient Demographics Service (PDS) FIHR API or IM1 depending on your practice's setup.
Matched Patients: If the patient has been matched, their registration status will show as Registered and their NHS number will be displayed.
The patient matching warning will show Name and DoB or NHS Number matched, and you will be advised to verify the patient's contact details and to then select the 'I have verified patient's contact details' button for the warning message to disappear.
Unmatched Patients: If the patient was not automatically matched, their registration status will show as Not Known, and the request will be locked until their status has been matched.
There are two reasons why a patient might not match:
- The personal details the patient has entered do not match those in PDS or the clinical system for a unique patient. In this case, you will need to manually verify their details in the clinical system and update them in Patchs. You can then set their registration status to Registered, and click the 'Save status' button, to register the patient in Patchs and unlock the request.
- The PDS/IM1/Docman 10 integration failing. If this is the case the system will keep trying to match the records until it is successful or the registration has been updated manually.
If the patient is not registered at your practice you should update their registration status to Not Registered, and click the 'Reject - patient not registered' button.
Doing this will advise the patient by email that you cannot respond to their request because they are not a registered patient.
Carers can submit requests on behalf of people they care for via Patchs. This function can also be used by care homes to submit requests for multiple residents.
When the Carer registers on Patchs they do not need to be matched versus the clinical system because they may not be a patient at your practice themselves.
The patient they care for will be automatically checked in the same way as a normal patient (described above), but you will need to manually verify in the clinical system that the carer is correct for this patient.
There are 3 options:
- If the patient is registered at your practice and the carer is correct select Patient Registered and Carer Correct. This will unlock the request.
- If the patient is registered at your practice but the carer is not correct, you should update their registration status to Patient Registered but Carer Incorrect.
- Then click the 'Rejected - Patient Not Registered' button. This will advise the carer by email that you cannot respond to their request because they are not a registered carer for this patient.
- If the patient is not registered at your practice, you should update their registration status to Patient Not Registered.
- Then click the 'Rejected - Patient Not Registered' button. This will advise the carer by email that you cannot respond to their request because the patient is not registered at the practice.
Verifying a patient's identity and contact details
Before updating a patient's registration status you should verify their identity and contact details:
To do this you should check that the contact details which the patient has put into Patchs match those in the clinical system.
You can see their contact details by hovering the button.
Specifically, you should to check that the following details match:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Home address
It's especially important you check the email address is correct, as this is main way patients are notified about messages you send them. It's also the main way the patient verifies their Patchs account.
If any contact details don't match, or if any are missing in the clinical system...
...you should first contact the patient to confirm they signed up for a Patchs account. The best way to do this is by telephoning them. Ideally you should use the number you have for them in the clinical system, though this may be out of date.
If the patient confirms that they signed up for a Patchs account, you should then confirm which contact details are correct - the ones in Patchs, or those in the clinical system.
If the ones in Patchs are the correct details, and the ones in clinical system are wrong, you should update them in the clinical system.
If the ones in Patchs are the wrong details, you can either:
Once you have verified the patients' contact details...
Click the 'Done' button to make the warning disappear. If the patient updates their details in future, this message will re-appear.
See pages 42 and 43 of Using Online Consultations In Primary Care: Implementation Toolkit.