Well-being and Workload; How Arc Health can improve the future of GPs
GPs face the dual challenges of being overworked and under-resourced, which creates a perennial issue around their workload and impacts on their wellbeing. At the same time, they need to upskill to be adequately prepared for technological changes associated with e-health systems. Arc Health offers a constructive solution to these problems.
Presently, GPs are working at full capacity, under pressure to change current working patterns, streamlining face to face appointments, and ensuring that adequate triage methods are in place. As an active advocate and user of Arc Health in her practice, Dr Yasmin Razak GP Partner & Educator West London CCG & Clinical Director NeoHealth PCN says “GPs are tired now; at the start of Covid-19 we were stepping up in crisis response but now burnout is back and likely to continue.”
The benefits of Arc Health in general practice:
- Flexible working: Arc health remote examination stations allow us to be more fluid with our patient assessments in the era of crisis management; without the need for PPE. Dr. Razak suggests “although there are significant time burdens in this new way of remote consulting practice, clinicians prefer this methodology. The shielded doctors, BAME or vulnerable doctors particularly, can continue to safely work from home allowing for more flexibility and autonomy in care giving”.
- Workforce technology education, training and support: Dr. Razak stated “Some older doctors find technology challenging, however, in the interests of safety, they are incorporating Arc technology into their practice. Arc has also helpfully provided detailed education and training resource materials for our doctors which assists in practice. The masterclasses and examination handbook are an invaluable tool for use in all forms of remote consulting”.
- Balancing GP workload: GP workload has also been influenced with balancing childcare/care responsibilities. Using Arc technology with its futuristic asynchronous function, doctors have choice over convenient working suitable to their present needs, and still have a full picture of their patient with examination parameters available. “The surge in the use of remote consulting technology allows us to put doctors in the driving seat, be more flexible, more medical and more engaged in our clinical practice. It is exciting, engaging and healthy for doctors to try new innovative new things”.
- Maintaining GP Wellbeing: Dr Razak believes “with technology, sometimes the “soft stuff” of our patients is missed, but this was the emotional transference from the patient to the GP that caused burnout and impacted on GP wellbeing. We can use Arc to better streamline these patients to the right resources and so utilizing the health care professional’s optimal use of time.”
- Alleviating clinician anxiety with the missing “examination aspect”: GPs have concerns over missing examinations in remote consultations. This leads to ongoing uncertainty in practice and reduced case closure rates, which are cost ineffective. Arc health stations provide reassurance with the additional benefit of examination data to alleviate our doctor’s anxiety. Dr. Razak comments “The examination is the missing piece right now. Telephone and video can only give you so much, where the element of examination is what is missing in NHS practice. Arc Health can help us bridge the gap here, enhancing current clinical practices and supporting doctor’s wellbeing in the Covid-19 era.”
The futuristic GP
- Arc health can increase case closure rates with remote examination, therefore reducing primary care costs
- With dual synchronous and asynchronous functions, Arc health can give back autonomy across the spectrum of allied health care professionals to remotely manage their patients.
- Arc health increases safe access to care particularly in the chaotic Covid-19 phase
- Arc facilitates the GP’s to focus their role in becoming the patient advocate and navigator – providing key remote examination information data required to communicate closely with secondary care colleagues.
With better integrated patient care, balanced flexible workload, and safe, remote access to examination, Arc health can provide the tools for maintaining well-being and reduced workload in the future of general practice.