Ben Atkins, Revive. When setting up my first NHS practice my aim was to equip it with 21st Century technology and having worked with practice management systems at previous practices I knew how essential they would be to helping us reach this goal.

The decision to work with Software of Excellence was not difficult.  In my eyes they were the main providers of practice management systems and after a brief demonstration of the EXACT system I could see how well it would integrate with the workflow of the practice.  Now that I am running multiple NHS practices the system has proved more beneficial than I thought possible and we have been able to successfully transform ourselves into “paperless” practices.

Being digital means that all of our patients’ notes are now stored and accessible within one system, eliminating the uncertainty often associated with individual handwriting styles, so that the whole team can clearly read important information.

EXACT has improved our patient recall processes and when compared with most practices our approach is pretty unique as we try to reduce the use of paper as much as possible.  Rather than using the more common approach of sending a letter, our first step is to send an email, then one month later a text message.  These two methods are not only more cost effective; saving on the costs of stamps and more importantly staff working time, but we have found that patients tend to respond more quickly when using this technology.  The text messaging service has also been an extremely useful tool for reminding patients of their appointment, reducing our ‘fail to attends’ to a great extent.

EXACT is great for managing all areas of the practice; looking at statistics, reporting, assessing chair time and monitoring KPIs, but as an NHS Practice the UDA Manager is one tool that we have come to heavily rely on.  UDA Manager helps us to identify exactly where we stand vis a vis our contract and allows us to visually manage and monitor our activity more accurately, so that we exactly meet our UDA targets.

Using a computer to keep control of the practice means that I have been able to delegate a huge amount of my time safe in the knowledge that I’m not at risk of “forgetting” vital information.  It has freed up my time immensely.  I’m hoping that the recently installed Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) which automatically recognises the identification of every in-coming telephone call and automatically displays the appropriate patient record will further improve practice efficiency by reducing valuable time spent on the phone.

Our practice management system plays a vital role in all my NHS practices. I have been able to develop each of them using the EXACT system and I couldn’t imagine working without it.  I’m shocked that practices are choosing to work without this innovative equipment.  Now that I’m a ‘paperless’ practice I wouldn’t have it any other way!