Accurx: Communication to Support Successful Healthcare

Our Mission Is to Make Patients Healthier, Healthcare Staff Happier, & the Health System More Efficient, Shares Jacob Haddad, CEO and Co-Founder of Accurx

Jacob Haddad is the co-founder and CEO of Accurx, a communication platform used in over 150 NHS Trusts and by 98% of GP practices. Accurx is on a mission to join up communication across healthcare, to make patients healthier, staff happier, and the system more efficient.

He shares expert insight with Healthcare Digital about his company, its recent report and his 2024 predictions.

What is Accurx and why did you start it?

Accurx is a system-wide communication platform for healthcare. What that means in practice is that healthcare professionals use our software to communicate with each other, and with their patients. 

As a business, our mission is to make patients healthier, healthcare staff happier, and the health system more efficient, through seamless communication. Since we started seven years ago, we now work with 98% of GP practices in England, have users in 68% of trusts, and have contacted almost 60 million unique patients.

You've just launched a new report - 'A Blueprint for Recovering Access' - what is it, why have you launched it and who is it for?

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a small cohort of GP practices emerge who have stayed ahead of rising demand by going back to the drawing board in terms of how they run their practice. They’ve done pioneering things to change their ways of working, using Accurx, which means they have been able to provide outstanding levels of patient access, whilst running a sustainable service - a challenge so many healthcare organisations are now grappling with. Our new report - A Blueprint for Recovering Access - aims to spread these examples, and provides a blueprint for Integrated Care Systems and GP practices to improve patient access by changing their ways of working using tech. 

What is this change in ways of working then?

It’s all based around the idea of total triage, or Modern General Practice as NHS England coined it in its delivery plan for recovering access. Total triage is where every single patient getting in contact with their healthcare provider first provides information on the reasons for making contact, and is then triaged before next steps are decided. It’s not a new concept, or one unique to primary care, but it’s one that needs implementing well, and this is where that cohort of GP practices are getting it right.

Take St Andrews Health Centre in London, for example, who resolve 99% of patient requests within 48 hours, and have an average response time of 30 minutes to patients. This is pretty remarkable when you hear that 1 in 10 people failed to get through to their GP practice last month. 

The key thing practices like St Andrews are doing differently with their total triage model is resolving a large proportion - 25-50% - of patient requests via messaging, without the need for an appointment. Fundamentally, this is the biggest shift in ways of working that will build a more sustainable delivery model - not just in primary care but across the whole health system. 

What is Accurx doing to support primary care to improve access?

We believe that the only way healthcare delivery can be sustainable now and in the future is if we shift away from the traditional appointment-first approach, and move to resolving more patient needs through messaging, with appointments used only when needed. That's why we are fully committed to helping ICBs and practices implement this, through our 5-point support plan and promise to help 1000 GP practices transition to this way of working by early 2024.

Our 5-point plan includes a 12 week onboarding programme for GP practices, a free trial of our Patient Triage product, training packs and resources to manage change internally as well as with patients, and access to an online community of over 600 healthcare professionals, where they can learn and share supportive content about running a total triage model. 

What are your 2024 predictions for the health tech sector? 

In 2024, as healthcare professionals start to resolve more patient requests via messaging, patient behaviours will also continue to shift. We’ve seen first hand that as the benefits of increased access, faster response times and convenience are achieved from this new way of working, patients actively prefer to be communicated with in this way.

I think we’ll also see healthcare professionals rely on more structured data capture and patient-initiated contact, to transform pathways of care from point-of-contact. 

Finally, I believe we’ll move beyond remote monitoring through wearables to a more holistic model for the remote delivery of care. For example, entire conditions being managed remotely, which will open up access and reduce health inequalities.

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