How can technology support patients in social prescribing and their attitude towards Self Care?

As Social Prescribing is encouraged from NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country to support patient outcomes, we are exploring how social prescribing, self care and technology can work together.

Self care has long been talked and written about, encouraging and educating patients around their ability to look after themselves at home, use the facilities of your local Pharmacy, really ask yourself if you need to visit your GP and only call 999 in an emergency.

Our social prescribing technology connects patients, healthcare professionals and care partners through an unique community referral ID. When a patient is given a unique ID from a healthcare professional via our platform, the patient can go online and see all of the services they have been ‘referred into’ – in effect, they can see their social prescription. But the emphasis is on the patient to proactively, take the lead.

With the formal ‘community referral’ from the healthcare professional, the patient is encouraged and almost given the directive to take up the service, much like they would walk to a pharmacy and collect a prescription because the GP ‘told them to’, it’s the same principal. If a GP ‘tells you’ to do something, you’re more likely to do it and if they give you a special unique referral ID for you to check the details, that almost validates it and acts as your ‘social prescription’. The care partner providing the service receives an email when the ‘community referral unique ID’ is created so they know someone has been referred to them (they don’t know who, we don’t take patient data) and then when the patient turns up, they’re ‘ticked off’ the list so the CCG or GP can measure number of referrals, take up rate and even see patient feedback on the service they’ve received and support group they attended.

So the technology, the nature of the community referral ID has driven patient behaviour, encouraged self care and we believe, will reduce repeat unnecessary GP visits.

What do you think?

Let me know, comment or email [email protected].

Kate Carney – Director