Primary healthcare news, information & resources

Alternatives to face to face care: by the numbers this quarter

The Health Care Home (HCH) programme has been reflecting on the alternatives to face to face care offered to patients this quarter.

Presenting alternatives to face to face care is a core concept of the HCH model. Telephone consultations and patient use of the patient portal are examples of how this is done. Providing such alternatives shows value for patients' time, and frees up face to face care for those who need it most.

The clinical triage service in our HCH practices provides quick telephone access for patients who think they may need to see a GP that day. On average, 60% of patients are able to speak to their own GP, and the GP decides with the patient what the most appropriate care is and how to go about it.

HCH practices also aim to support as many people as possible to use the online patient portal for routine care. This alternative to face to face care provides patients with convenient access to health records, enables them to order repeat prescriptions and see test results, and email their clinical team.

Here's a glimpse at some numbers from the quarter. Our HCH practices, covering a population of 87,000 patients, have:

  • Provided telephone care as an alternative to same day face to face care to 35% of patients seeking a same day appointment. Every patient that can be cared for without attending the practice is saved, on average, 50 minutes in their day.
  • Arranged an appointment on a different day for 15% of patients asking for a same day appointment,where appropriate. This resulted in more planned, efficient use of the patients' time.
  • Actioned over 3000 repeat prescriptions requested from patients directly to their GP via the online patient portal. Over 25% of those are sent after 5pm, providing convenient access for patients.
  • Responded to over 3000 patient emails for health queries.

More about the HCH programme

Pinnacle MHN's HCH programme is designed to address many of the issues and pressures facing New Zealand's health care system today. The HCH principles include, but aren't limited to:

·Expanding the primary care team with new roles

·Improving access by offering alternative options for patients via email, video and telephone consultations

  • Targeting of face to face consultations to those that need them most
  • Longer appointments for those with more complex needs
  • Shifting general practice from a reactive service to one where all consultations are planned with the patient

Find us:

Website -

Twitter - @HCH_NZ

Youtube - https://youtube/qCtVlzsKkrU


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