South Worcestershire Primary Care Trust has selected an advanced call centre triage system for its GP out-of-hours (OOH) service which it also plans to use for remotely managing patients with long term conditions.

The new system, called the Care Enhance Call Centre (CECC) will enable the out-of-hours service provider to triage any calls they receive directing callers to the most appropriate services. An initial contract has been signed for three years.

The PCT will become the first in the UK to install the McKesson triage tool, which is used in almost 500 clinical call centres in the the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

CECC will interface to the Adastra GP out-of-hours product which is the market leading product to manage GP OOH services.

McKesson says that CECC will help South CECC will help South Worcestershire PCT meet the stringent quality standards for OOH Service providers.

In addition to providing a triage tool, the call centre system has a series of modules designed to support patients with long-term conditions providing a pro-active outreach service.

Matthew Burke, general manager Worcestershire GP out of-hours-service said McKesson’s guideline-based CECC triage tool would ensure patients get safe and consistent information when they call the GP out-of-hours service and are directed to the most appropriate care. “Where the appropriate outcome is self-care, CECC also provides clear advice to patients about what they should do for themselves."

Burke added that CECC also provided the ability to deliver new models of care particularly to patients with long term conditions. "We wanted a solution that has a future vision and will also provide a platform for the PCT to address other service requirements arising out of the ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ White Paper. We believe that McKesson’s CECC modules have that capability."

By adopting McKesson’s combined disease management solution with triage – McKesson CECC will enable selected patients to be assessed and monitored. Full reports about the assessment and survey results can be provided to the care team and the patient’ GP.

Jerry Flynn, McKesson’s business development manager told EHI, “Our product enables local organisations to reflect their local criteria, treatment protocols and policies configuring the solution to meet their needs.”

According to Flynn, using CECC for out of hours triage and long term conditions will provide support for PCTs and will assist in meeting key targets. “PCTs have a target to reduce their dependency on A&E departments. We think that this product can help [to ensure] fewer people are directed to A&E,” said Flynn.

“CECC is not just a triage product, it also provides the tools to proactively outreach to long term care patients in line with ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’;” added Simon Manley, McKesson’s UK vice president of sales and marketing.

“We think telephone is a very good delivery channel for contacting diabetes patients, taking them through a questionnaire – with the results sent back to the community matron or their GP – can be a very effective way to identify patient not doing well.”

“We have a wide range of care programmes that can be delivered through CECC,” said Manley.

He told EHI the care modules of CECC could for instance be used to help community matrons better manage with their case loads of complex long term conditions patients; and help relieve the pressure on GP appointment slots by enabling patients to be contacted by telephone.

Benefits claimed for patients with long term conditions include the ability to get information and guidance by phone. When required, the triage module can deal with any emergencies that are identified; offering immediate advice or referral to the appropriate source and care guidance.

Charmaine McDonald, managing director of McKesson UK said: "We believe that the CECC platform with its combined capability for triage and long term conditions offers a unique approach. The demographics of the UK population are clear: a stronger proactive approach to managing the escalating long-term care programme is needed.”

She said that telephone services for proactive long-term care and triaging access to out-of-hours services were needed to better manage pressures on GPs and formed an essential component of the future models of care called for in ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’

“Unless this type of solution is widely encouraged there is little chance that the quality of patient care will be improved or targets for reduction in hospital admissions reached."

US-based McKesson Corporation is the world’s largest healthcare services and technology company with revenues in excess of £50bn. In the US McKesson has transferred CECC into a new personal healthcare division.



McKesson UK

South Worcestersire PCT