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How appthealth helps preventive health and care commissioners

Hector Smethurst
December 2020
Doctor using a syringe
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash

appthealth is a service that replaces conventional call and recall processes with a cheaper and more effective alternative. We help all individual GP practices inside a commissioning footprint (whether CCG, Local Authority or Integrated Care System) to perform better on their targets and engage hard to reach patients.

Poor performance on targets means that the whole system suffers

In 2014 the NHS Five Year Forward View said that “If the nation fails to get serious about prevention then recent progress in healthy life expectancies will stall, health inequalities will widen, and our ability to fund beneficial new treatments will be crowded-out by the need to spend billions of pounds on wholly avoidable illness.” Unfortunately, not much has changed since 2014 and prevention is still under-prioritised and under-performing.

Whether it is NHS Health Checks, cancer screenings or seasonal flu immunisations, recent under-performance on public and preventive healthcare programmes has contributed to over stretched health and social care services. Investing in improving the performance of these programmes must be a priority for health and care commissioners.  

Commissioners must support the GP practices in their region to perform

Many public and preventive healthcare programmes are delivered in primary care, but many GP practices don’t have the tools they need to deliver these programmes effectively. This is evident in high rates of practice-to-practice performance variation on locally commissioned services.

The real problem is the call and recall process

It is unsurprising that many practices struggle with these programmes, due to the time consuming and ineffective processes currently in use. Practice staff are required to create lists of eligible patients, reach out to patients individually and manage this same process across 15 or more targets. This equates to an expensive process, often crowded out by other urgent tasks.

Nor is the process ideal for patients, who sometimes fall through the cracks and are not invited. Those that are invited usually face difficulty in understanding what is being offered and how they can access a suitable appointment.

Together these problems compound to create a situation that fails to serve the commissioners of these programmes, the practices providing them or the patients that are intended to benefit from them. It is unsurprising then, that most national targets are missed with performance worsening in recent years.

appthealth means better performance

appthealth’s service automates the time-consuming aspects of call and recall, reaching eligible patients and inviting them to choose and book their own appointment slot using accessible digital technology. This means improved performance and reduced practice-to-practice variation, with resources unlocked for practices to focus on patient care and on those members of the public who need human assistance.

Outcomes based pricing means practices only pay for the value they receive

Our outcome-based pricing model means that practices only pay when appthealth provides them with something they value: a booking. We charge a totally transparent, flat fee of £3 per booking, which includes all set up, support and communications costs, meaning that practices know exactly what they are paying for and the value they'll get in return.

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