A group of GP practices in the East Midlands have rolled out a new digital assessment platform with the aim of addressing workforce pressures and improving patient experience. 

Lakeside Healthcare Partnership has introduced Doctrin’s care navigation platform which allows patients to be triaged and directed to the right healthcare practitioner using AI technology which means GP surgeries can plan their available workforce accordingly.

According to the partnership, the platform’s dashboard has revealed that less than 10 per cent of initial patient queries require a doctor’s appointment, with patients being referred to other healthcare teams such as community pharmacists, nurse practitioners or emergency care practitioners.

Doctrin’s platform also supports patients in engaging with their local practice at a time that suits them, and delivers a direct response within one working day. In addition, healthcare advice can be provided through video consults cutting the need for patients to travel to one of the Lakeside surgeries.

Group lead nurse at Lakeside Kerry Gardner said: “Doctrin has completely re-shaped the model of care at Lakeside, as the AI triage tool ensures patients are directed to the right healthcare professional for their needs.

“This allows us to plan our workforce accordingly and avoid understaffing in areas that might have increased demand on particular days of the week.

“Doctrin isn’t just a digital platform, it’s a whole new way of working for primary care that ultimately makes the experience easier for patients. It has already earned patient trust as they can submit a request to their practice while on the go and rely on them to respond quickly.”

The partnership of eight surgeries has witnessed several benefits to the new platform. At sites not previously using a digital service, the use of remote consultations is now at 20 per cent, while one previously-digital user now provides 80 per cent of appointments remotely.

The volume of calls coming into surgeries has also reduced, freeing up the phone line for patients with no online access, and reducing administrative demands.

Swedish based Doctrin raised £11m last summer to help fuel its expansion and support its vision of patient-centric healthcare free from barriers.

Managing director at Doctrin, Craig Oates, said: “The end-to-end triage and consultation tool enables practices to get unique insights into patient behaviours and needs, in order to plan services more effectively – improving efficiency and overall patient satisfaction.

“The platform is all-encompassing, with the capability to support patients with long term conditions and communicate with primary care networks, social care, care homes and the third sector.

“It also provides excellent clinical supervision and training opportunities, to help practices get the most out of their staff while providing a gold-standard service for patients.”

Doctrin is currently live at the Lakeside sites of Yaxley, Oundle, St Neots, Hereward and New Queen Street. Three further practices at Corby, Headlands and Stamford will go live in the coming months.