The Health Care Home (HCH) model of care is intended to result in a number of improvements for General Practice, specifically related to four areas:
This means we'll be making some changes over the next three years. We started in October 2018.
What we've done so far:
1. GP triage: people requesting a same day appointment may be phoned by their doctor to discuss the situation. This will sometimes mean that a face-to-face appointment isn't needed, or can be deferred.
2. Extended hours: we're now open for some earlier morning and later afternoon appointments each week.
3. Workforce expansion: we've appointed a Primary Care Practice Assistant (PCPA), a new role for General Practice. Tessa joined us in January, and she does some reception work, as well as assisting our nurses across a range of work, including contacting people with reminders e.g. tests, vaccinations.
4. We've introduced monthly multi-disciplinary team (MDT) meetings with our community-based and hospital colleagues, including district nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, social workers, aged care specialists and others. This will mean we'll be able to coordinate better care for people with complex health needs, and help reduce time spent in hospital and the emergency department.
Soon we'll introduce Year of Care Plans (YOC) for people with high health needs. The aims of YOC are: to maximise a patient's choice and control; to maximise a person's independence and functioning; to maximise a person's wellbeing; and to minimise medical intervention, unnecessary hospital admission and premature admission to long term care.
We're planning to take phones away from reception for improved privacy and a quieter experience in the waiting room. Soon our new phone system will be here: this will include an automated assistant and voice mail capacity to reduce the time callers spend waiting on hold. We're also encouraging more people to register for Manage My Health, the portal which enables you to make an appointment, request a repeat prescription, see your test results and securely email your doctor, without the need to phone us. Please ask to register at reception next time you're here.
Seeking your feedback is an important part of HCH, so we're continuing to participate in the quarterly Patient Experience Survey, and encourage you as well to let us know if you have comments and suggestions you'd like to make about our service.
The goal is to build strong, sustainable primary care through the Health Care Home (HCH) model of care.