GPs in London have been equipped with a wireless networking solution to enable them to provide a more efficient and cost-effective doctor-on-call service.
Thamesdoc, a London-based GP co-operative, has adopted Cognito's Mobile Data Network and Messager terminals to improve the running of the doctor-on-call service out of surgery hours.
The Messager terminals are being used to send details of patients' name, location and symptoms to any one of nine duty doctors on call.
A telephonist inputs patient details onto the Thamesdoc database. The information is then sent via Cognito's radio network to the chosen GPs Messager handheld terminal. The telephonist can see when the message has been received and also read it on their PC.
Stephen Price, general manager at Thamesdoc, said the system will give the GP co-operative potential savings of up to #1,500 per month. "Cognito's Messager has allowed Thamesdoc to become four times more efficient." he said. "It used to take two minutes to input patient details into the system.
To pass that information to a GP via two-way radio meant the duty doctor would have to park, then write down the verbal instructions - with breaks in the radio transmission. This could take up to nine minutes to complete and wasn't always accurate."
Price went on to say that using mobile phones to transmit the data, was costing of over #2,000 per month in phone bills alone.
"We have invested #22,000 in the Cognito system and already we've seen massive reductions in our phone bill, down over 30% in the last quarter." The system has a fixed rate of #50 a month per messenger, regardless of the amount of messages sent.
The GP co-operative plans to extend the system to include faxing directly from the Messager to the patients own surgery and hospitals to update medical records.
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