The NHS has long sought to overcome the barriers to delivering smooth, joined-up services. With current communication methods not linking up between departments, primary care is often delivered inefficiently. Ultimately, the patient suffers as a result. HM Government has developed strategies such as Data Saves Lives to combat these challenges in primary care and implement technical solutions and smarter ways of working. One of the primary objectives of the strategy is for staff to have easy access to the right information to provide the best possible care. This means creating a technical infrastructure whereby patient data is secure and easily communicable between primary care practitioners. The NHS app is an example of how the NHS has already made great strides in revolutionising the way in which primary care can be delivered and accessed. More than 30 million people have signed up to use the app. It reduces wait times and gives the patient agency over how they access their own care and records. But what communication methods are being used in primary care and how can we progress towards more joined-up services?
How do we Create Joined-Up Services?
To answer these questions, RingCentral, in collaboration with GovNewsDirect, recently conducted a wide-reaching survey to gain a deeper understanding of how public sector organisations are making use of the latest communications technology. The survey found that post is used by nearly 27% in the primary care arena, while fax is used by 18% of those in primary care. This reliance on outdated, non-instantaneous methods of communication directly creates inefficiencies. Primary care providers cannot hope to deliver intelligent and flexible services to their patients if they are reliant on such slow legacy methods of communication with secondary providers and partner organisations. There are a myriad of easily deployable instantaneous solutions that could help quickly reduce these inefficiencies.
Cloud-based unified communications solutions deliver immediate results. Working alongside existing IT estates, operations using a cloud infrastructure become much more streamlined. This reduces pressure on staff and provides an enhanced service to citizens as staff are able to focus their attention directly where it is needed. More than 90% of direct patient experience of the NHS is through the primary care network and as the bedrock of the service, GP practices deliver more than 1 million consultations every working day. The latest phone technology can increase patients’ ability to reach their practice by almost a third, with online appointments made more easily available to those who prefer the option. This means that workflows are dramatically modernised. Staff are no longer dependent on slow channels of communication and legacy hardware. They can immediately access the information they need and create a digital paper trail for other healthcare providers to follow.
Reforming for Recovery
Our new whitepaper ‘Reforming for Recovery’ addresses the need for the modernisation of communications within primary care. It explores our survey’s findings and maps out how solutions, such as cloud-based telephony, can revolutionise our health and care systems. The white paper explores:
- The current challenges faced by the NHS and primary care
- An analysis of the current methods of communication in patient care.
- The growing demand for care.
- The delivery plan for Modern General Practice Access
- The use of fax and post in healthcare communications
- The need for cloud-based unified communications
Download your free copy of our white paper to learn more about cloud communication for primary healthcare services.
HM Government. “Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data.” GOV.UK, 15 June 2022, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-saves-lives-reshaping-health-and-social-care-with-data/data-saves-lives-reshaping-health-and-social-care-with-data#developing-the-right-technical-infrastructure. Accessed 12 September 2023.
Originally published Nov 28, 2023, updated Dec 08, 2023