Outlined in the GP Forward View as one of the 10 ‘high impact actions’ to release GP capacity, Workflow Optimisation is an initiative that focusses on training practice administrators to process clinical correspondence such as letters from hospitals and referral services. Traditionally, the administration of this correspondence was a time-consuming task completed by GPs. Not surprisingly, as patient numbers have grown, so too has the volume of such correspondence. Training up administrators in this field enables them to carry out this important task, meaning that GPs have more time to focus on non-administrative tasks.
Recognising that the impact that this initiative could have here in the city, summer 2017 saw NCGPA appoint Practice Unbound to roll out their acclaimed Workflow Optimisation training programme across practices in Nottingham city. 47 practices took part in the programme, which was delivered through a series of workshops facilitated by Practice Unbound here in Nottingham. Each workshop involved training practice administrators on how to handle clinical correspondence. This included read code training and techniques on how to log, understand and action correspondence in a safe, confidential and efficient manner. Each practice also had an appointed ‘champion GP’ who was invited to attend a specialist training session, to ensure they had a sound understanding of how the programme worked and how it could be implemented at their practice.
NCGPA held an evaluation event in late 2018 where practices, that had completed the programme and begun implementing the approach at their practice, were invited along to discuss and provide feedback on their progress.
Liz Pain, Practice Manager at the Family Medical Centre in Carlton, provided the following feedback:
“The workflow optimisation project has been well received at our practice, working to strict protocols to empower staff to deal with a large proportion of the mail. The template allows the clinician to see at a glance any actions undertaken by other staff and reduces the GP’s workload reading and actioning every letter and communication allowing them to focus on those which require the GP to act. This also results in a must faster and more streamlined process.”
Kerry Few, Integrated Operations Lead at Practice Unbound, commented:
“It has been wonderful to work with NCGPA on the implementation of the Workflow programme in Nottingham city which has led to their practices releasing over 1000 GP Hours to date over the past year. The federation has worked really hard to implement Workflow across their practices and make the programme a success. Our Implementation Team have been working together with the federation to look at the data and support practices to achieve up to 85% completion rate on letters without clinical input. We are looking forward to continuing to develop our relationship with the federation to see what further opportunities there are to work together.”
For more information on how Workflow Optimisation works, visit the Practice Unbound website.