The outbreak and rapid spread of Covid-19 has pushed healthcare systems around the world into overdrive and frontline workers in the UK are contending with a constant influx of cases. While the primary focus is, rightfully, on battling this potentially fatal virus, other healthcare emergencies and chronic conditions still require treatment. In recent weeks, we have seen many GP practices across the UK roll out video consultations to continue meeting demand, and there are digital solutions that can help to ease the pressure on hospitals and emergency departments, too.
Australia’s National Health provider, Healthdirect’s symptom checker is a great example of how software can help digitally enable healthcare. Symptom checkers are designed to provide an intuitive online service to patients, allowing them to input their symptoms and receive appropriate and timely advice on what to do next, how to care for the symptoms in the meantime, what to do should symptoms become worse and supplemental patient education information when needed.
During the bushfires that ravaged Australia earlier this year, Healthdirect’s symptom checker and teletriage software together helped to manage a spike in demand – an example of how vital these services are for mitigating the impact of unforeseen circumstances.
Digital tools like online self-triage and symptom checkers help patients care for themselves at home, but also have benefits for staff. We know that people want to support NHS workers in any way possible – this solution enables the public to support healthcare workers simply by identifying the appropriate level of care and helping avoid hospital admissions where possible.
When online self-triage and symptom checkers are used alongside 24/7 care advice and teletriage services – such as Capita’s TeleGuides currently in use by NHS 111 in Wales – to direct people to the right treatment and care, the pressure on healthcare services can be reduced significantly.
For more information about how Capita Healthcare Decisions can support organisations and patients during this time, please click here to contact us.