Launched in September 2022, Self-Book by Accurx is intended to support practices to schedule and book appointments online, without the need for phone calls to facilitate the process. Practices can offer patients a range of appointment slots to choose from through a link sent directly to the patient. The evaluation was commissioned by Accurx with KSS AHSN additionally commissioning evaluation through health inequalities lens.
The intervention seeks to help address growing pressure within Primary Care and declining patient satisfaction with access to GPs. By offering patients the opportunity to select a time and day that suits their needs, it is hoped that patients will find it a convenient solution.
Following the launch of the system, over 46% of practices nationwide have utilised the system to some degree, with around two-thirds of these having sent more than 1000 messages via Self-Book by the end of December 2022.
The launch of Self-Book coincided with the delivery of the autumn vaccination campaign for Flu and COVID and it is not a surprise that many early adopters of the batch-messaging functionality used the vaccination campaigns as the primary use-case. To-date over 75% of links sent through Self-Book have related to Flu and COVID.
Usage has been varied, however, with practices using the system to manage long-term conditions and routine appointments, such as blood tests. A growing number of practices are also using Self-Book to book direct appointments with a month-on-month growth in the number of individual links observed since launch.
Unity Insights and Prova Health were commissioned in partnership to undertake a mixed evaluation into the impact of Self-Book in practices. Unity Insights undertook the quantitative assessment of the system’s uptake, while performing a cost-benefit analysis of the impact. Meanwhile, Prova Health led on the qualitative workstream of the evaluation, delivering interviews and surveys to assess the perception of the system from both patients and staff.
The evidence this impartial evaluation has generated will support Accrux in their case for contract extension and wider scale up for the self-book solution across the NHS.
“We are extremely proud to have worked with Accurx on the evaluation of their Self-Book product. Accurx are considered to be one of the UK’s most respected digital health companies and take transparency and evidence seriously. This was highlighted by their willingness to be impartially evaluated and then publish the results, showing the real value that Self-Book is bringing to the NHS.”
Quote by Richard Lee-Wright, CEO at Unity Insights and Gianluca Fontana, CEO at Prova Health