Easing pressure on general practice one inbox at a time
Long after the last patient has been seen, many general practitioners (GPs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) are at their desks trying to get on top of their mountainous clinical inbox tasks. A kete of resources is now available to guide general practices to manage these inboxes differently, and assist clinicians to leave on time, respond to tasks in a timely way and have more time to care for patients.
The kete is accessed via HealthPathways.
The kete was developed locally in response to the results of a capacity and demand survey carried out by CCN’s Primary Care Taskforce in June, which highlighted the critical need to minimise unnessary administration within general practice.
The kete guides practices through the process of employing or involving an existing member of their team to pre-sort and streamline GP/NP clinical inbox tasks.
Kete resources include:
- Background information about the benefits, managing medico-legal risks and workforce options.
- Templates and policies that can be adapted to practice’s individual needs.
- Case studies, which include videos of practice team members talking about how they manage their inboxes differently.
- Video of a panel of Canterbury | Waitaha clinicians discussing inbox management.
Below are some thoughts from GPs whose practices are managing their inboxes differently.
“The response from the team has been overwhelmingly positive. Our Clinical Assistant who manages the inboxes is the favourite person in the practice. She saves me 40-50% of my time on my inbox…. The biggest pay off is the GPs don’t dread their inboxes like they used to, so it’s not an insurmountable task. From a wellbeing point of view, it’s had a big impact.”
Dr Lizzie Loudon, St Martins Medical Centre
Watch Lizzie talk about the benefits
“It has made my inbox less daunting. Things are packaged up and ready and I can scan and know what information is there, instead of blank spaces – where I don’t know what service the letter is from and what it is about. Definitely made an easy to process inbox. Actions already taken and follow ups booked. It also means we’re using the skills of our team members more fully.”
Dr Amanda Torkington, Medical Corner Doctors
Watch Amanda talk about their journey with inbox management
Work to reduce the administration at source and explore the use of digital assistants to assist with routine tasks is also underway to further reduce the general practice administration workload.
Interested to know more?
General practices can contact their Primary Health Organisation (PHO) to:
- Connect with a General Practitioner, Practice Nurse or Practice Manager colleague about their experiences implementing a change to inbox management.
- Information and support with progressing this change.
About the Author