Is outpatients the last outpost of the unreformed NHS?
Every year millions of people visit outpatients. To be more accurate well over a million people a week! In total 64 million at a cost of around £8bn.
How many of them need to be there? How many of them have to take time off work, spend a fortune in car parking, struggle to get on a bus. Wait to be seen and then told by the doctor they’re OK and they can go!
I guess we’ve all been there. And, to get us there, there are the letters for appointments, changes and cancellations.
Milton Keynes FT spend a million pounds a year on stamps, that’s why they are making big changes how they go about things. That’s why Morecambe Bay are using virtual reality and telemedicine.
Some trips to outpatients are unavoidable but a lot could be done on the phone, on Skype or even FaceTime. With the patient’s consent, smart medics and clever technology, how much of this 1960’s experience could be dragged into the 21st century? Half, maybe two thirds?
Let’s find out!
We think there is a lot going on to improve the patient experience in outpatients, we know of some of it but there will be a lot more going on that could be shared to be more efficient, cut costs and make every appointment count.
What’s happening in your outpatients? Tell us… share you ideas, however small, together they could end up with a whole new outlook for outpatients.