askmyGP now has network capabilities to allow for groups of connected practices, or healthcare services (both of which will be referred to as 'Providers' from this point onwards) to share or transfer requests between themselves to work together to manage patients' care needs.
(For video demonstrations of the Network features, please click here)
As information relating to a practice patient is being shared with other healthcare providers, verifying the patient's ID is an important first step to ensure that the information being shared pertains to the correct patient, and that they can also be verified against any records held at the receiving provider's end. Before a request can be shared with another provider you will be required to 'Verify' the patient's identity using the 'ID Status' field in their record, or on the request screen:
The patient will also need to have an NHS number stored in their askmyGP record, if the patient has an NHS number, when viewing their request, this can be found in the patient banner at the top of the screen:
If they do not already have an NHS number on record, when viewing the request you can use the 'Edit patient' button in the right-hand pane to retrieve their record:
And from here you can use the 'NHS Spine lookup' button at the bottom of the screen to match the patient on the spine and populate their NHS number:
Once your practice has been linked to other askmyGP providers to establish a 'network' (this is managed by the Salvie team) you will see a new 'Network' tab next to the usual 'Team' tab on the assign screen:
Clicking this tab will allow you to see a list of other 'Providers' which have been linked within your network.
If there is a long list of Providers and you are looking for a specific one, you can use the search bar to filter the results and find the one that you wish to share, or transfer the request to.
Once you have found the provider you need, next to their name you will see two options 'Share' and 'Transfer' these buttons perform slightly different functions to cater for a variety of different use cases:
The 'Share' button allows the request to be shared with another healthcare provider. You would typically use this option when you wish to retain ownership of the request, but want to request the opinion, or assistance of another clinician, or service within your network. The share button can be used in an 'advice and guidance' capacity to help you liaise with other services in order for you to best manage the patient's treatment.
Once you have shared the request with another provider, the request will appear in their 'New' list, where a sorter at that provider can assign it to the relevant person within their team. Whilst shared with the provider, they will have access to the request thread in it's entirety and they will be able to directly message the patient if they need to as well as send you internal notes to discuss the case. Any updates to the thread, either by them, or the patient, will also update the thread for you.
If you wish to temporarily remove the request from your list whilst you wait for a reply from the other provider, you can set the request to 'Await reply' You will be prompted to do so each time you share a request with another provider, as well as being prompted to 'copy' the request thread so far into the clinical system if you wish.
Note: when a request has been shared, you will only have the option to 'Return to assignee' after the specified time has passed, so that you can chase them for a reply if they haven't already.
If either the patient, or the other provider reply to the thread, the request will move from 'waiting' and back to the assigned clincian's list.
If at any point you wish to remove access to the request for the shared provider, you can go back into the 'Network' tab on the assign screen and you will note the 'Share' button has now been replaced with an 'Unshare' button. Clicking this button will remove the access at the other provider.
Whilst a request is shared, you retain ownership of the request and have all of the usual controls to complete the request and are able to share, or transfer the request with other additional providers should you need to do so. The shared provider will be unable to complete the request from their side, or transfer it to another provider, but they will be able to 'Share' it with another provider should they wish to (including one that may not be within your network).
The 'Transfer' button will share the request with your chosen provider, but crucially, it will also transfer the ownership of the request to them as well. Once a request has been transferred to another provider they have full control over all aspects of the request. You will be unable to complete, or transfer the request to any other providers (but can still share with additional providers if you need to), all of those controls are now managed by the newly transferred provider.
The Transfer button can be considered more of a 'Referral' option, where the originating provider have managed the case as best they can and now wish to transfer the care of the patient onto another provider or service for them to continue to care for the patient.
After transferring the request to the other provider, it will still be 'Shared' with you, so that you can monitor the request and it's progress if you wish and you will still be able to message the transferred provider, or patient if you need to. If you want to permanently remove the request from your list, you can message the provider that you transferred the request to via an 'Internal note' and ask them to 'Unshare' it with you.
Note: doing so will remove your access to the request unless it is shared with you again in the future, so it is recommended that you copy the notes for your consultation with the patient so far into their clinical record, you will be prompted to do so when you share or transfer a request.
If you wish to retain visibility of the request and see where there are any new updates, then you can use the 'Await reply' feature to set it to 'Waiting' and any replies from the transferred provider (including internal notes) or patient, will move the request from 'Waiting' to the assigned clinicians list at your practice. You will be prompted to set the request to 'Await reply' each time you transfer a request to another provider, as well as being prompted to 'copy' the request thread so far into the clinical system if you wish.
Communicating with 'Shared' or 'Transferred' providers
In both instances the method for communicating with a provider that you have shared or transferred a request to would be using the existing 'Internal note' functionality. Once a request has been shared on, the visibility of the internal note now also extends to all providers with whom the request has been shared.
When sharing, or transferring a request, it is recommended you also accompany this with an internal note to the other provider to explain why you are sharing with them. If there are any other queries whilst the request is being managed, you can exchange internal notes to discuss the patient's case in more detail for as long as the request is shared with you both.
If a request is in 'Await reply' and a member of staff at either provider updates the request thread with an internal note, then this will return the request thread to the current assignee in the same way as a patient message would do.
Request share status
Where a request has been shared with another provider, or multiple providers, regardless of whether you are the one sharing, or a provider with whom the request has been shared, you will be able to see at a glance the list of providers who currently have access to the request and also the name of the provider that the request originated at.
This information is presented in the 'Patient Details' section in the right-hand pane when viewing a shared request (see below):
1. Assigned to: Which user the request is currently assigned to within your provider
2. Originated at: Denotes which provider the request originated at (and in most cases will reflect where the patient is registered)
3. Shared with: A list of providers with whom the request is currently shared*
*Note: If you share a request with a provider within your network and they share on to another provider who is not in your network, you will have visibility of this from the 'Patient Details' screen and also from the 'Networks' tab when viewing the request.