Push Doctor: How we’re supporting primary care during the COVID-19 crisis
Push Doctor was born out of the need for patients to access quick, safe and convenient healthcare. In 2013, the year of Push Doctor’s inception, there was typically a two or more week wait for an appointment, so it became our mission to provide a digital solution. Since then the remote consultation industry has boomed and the NHS is keener than ever to improve the technical capabilities of the UK’s health system.
Today, we are the leading online GP provider and remote consultation enabler in the UK, connecting thousands of patients each week with clinicians, and appointments available in minutes. Push Doctor has a current reach of 5.4 million people. Partnering with NHS GP practices and hospitals across Yorkshire, the Northwest, Midlands, London and the South East, we provide patients with the option of a remote digital consultation with NHS-trained, GMC-registered doctors.
Surgeries partnering with us have drastically reduced the time patients have to wait to see a GP for any health complaint, without compromising on the quality of care that they receive. Patients can be seen wherever they feel comfortable and whenever suits them.
Push Doctor’s coronavirus response
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the switch to digital consultations in primary care and hospital outpatient departments. In April 2020 we saw a 60% increase in new partners signing up to use our digital locum service. This same level of demand continued into May, resulting in an additional 217,000 patients being offered the choice of remote consultations.
We have continued to evolve and adapt since the outbreak began. We’re working closely with our partners and patients, and developing new products, training resources and partnership opportunities in order to meet the increasing demand for remote consultations. By listening and developing new service offerings in response to the feedback we’re getting, we hope to unlock the full potential of remote digital consultations. For example:
- We are continually training a number of GPs to support in the front-line management and assessment of patients with COVID-19 symptoms and provide all of our doctors with bespoke reports about COVID-19 to ensure that they are following the most up-to-date guidelines.
- Protecting the safety and wellbeing of people in high-risk environments has become even more of a priority for us during lockdown. Training is being provided for all of our GPs to help digitally identify patients at risk of domestic abuse and the method of action to take if there is a suspected case.
- In a small space of time, we’ve safely onboarded a large number of additional partners in primary care, enabling them to bolster their own numbers through our digital locum Additionally, we’ve launched our bespoke video software, Push Consult, enabling GPs to continue seeing their own patients.
- In response to the cancellation of all elective surgeries and outpatient appointments, we partnered with the largest NHS insourcing specialist, Medinet, to create a remote, expert service which provides at-home patient access to hospital consultants. This means maximising clinical resources efficiently across the UK during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are currently reviewing and updating our full package of products to build what will be the most efficient service to date.
Working with the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator
Working with the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has been hugely beneficial: it opened doors and provided Push Doctor a wide breadth of opportunities within the UK’s health system. We have shifted our business model since first joining the accelerator, moving from a private service to focusing on delivering the product to patients for free at the point of access, through NHS partners in General Practice. The DigitalHealth.London Accelerator has been there to offer support, advice and acted as a vital sounding board during our growth and expansion.