A north-east doctor’s surgery has launched the region’s self-test facility to help the practice cope with newly increased patient numbers.
Macduff Medical Practice has introduced a surgery pod to their waiting area in the hope of minimising the time doctors spend asking basic questions.
The pod will be used by patients to answer those basic questions, carry out simple health checks and update their medical records before seeing their GP to better utilise appointment time.
The practice has recently seen the patient list rise from 300 to over 6000 due to the amalgamation of neighbouring surgeries and it’s hope the self test facility will help it cope with the influx.
Dr Howard Wright said: “Basically the pod is a useful and efficient tool which helps with the delivery of primary care at a time where the practice is facing increasing demand and patients with complex medical needs.
“All of the information recorded by the pod is automatically transmitted to the patient’s record prior to the appointment taking place.
“This basic information allows healthcare professionals to spend more time listening to and concentrating on the patient’s individual needs during the consultation.”
Practice manager Dianne McBain added: “With our practice list size increasing, the surgery pod will free up nurse appointments for simple tests such as blood pressure checks and make it easier for any working or commuting patients to access this service.
“Patients are able to pop in at a time convenient to them to check their blood pressure or complete some of the wide variety of health-related questionnaires.”
To use the device, patients sit at the area and use the touchscreen to log in and select what they would like the machine to assess.
The patient then answers a series of basic questions relating to that category which are then updated on their medical record.
Practice nurse Rebecca Jack said: “Patients who have tried the pod are amazed at what it can do.
“A couple of pregnant ladies who have high blood pressure are impressed that they can attend the surgery at any time to check their blood pressure with the results going straight on to their medical record.
“On one occasion a colleague used the machine when she was unable to take a reading with our normal cuffs. It’s brilliant.”