The Ridgeway Surgery joined the Mjog Flagship Programme collaboration team in 2020. We caught up with IT Manager Simon Bagley to find out how technology has been supporting the practice at the height of the pandemic, and beyond.
How many patients are registered at Ridgeway Surgery and what is your role there?
We have just over 11,000 patients and five GPs. We're also a training practice so we have three training GPs at any one time, too. We have two Advance Nurse Practitioners, five nurses, and 15 people in the admin and reception teams.
We do tend to have an older patient demographic, but many of them are very good at doing things digitally, so that hasn't held us back in trialling and implementing new ways of working. Like so many practices, we had to make changes very quickly in early 2020, but the majority of our patients understood the situation and were on board with telephone and video appointments instead of face-to-face.
As the IT Manager, I oversee the day-to-day IT services across the practice. I work alongside our Practice Manager to ensure these systems are helping to deliver high-quality patient care and are helping us to hit our QoF targets. Part of my role is to prove the value of digital services -- to show how the investment is worthwhile for us as a business. Our clinical teams are so, so busy, which means we have to get it right when rolling out new systems.
What does being part of the Flagships Programme mean to you?
Being part of the Mjog Flagships Programme is a great way for us to be involved with new technology early on. We can help develop and shape systems around our needs.
Not every practice has my job title, so this trialling and experimenting is something we are able to take on. We can then share our experiences with other practices, and the Primary Care Network.
How have you been using Mjog during the pandemic?
We've been using the Mjog messaging service on a daily basis for around 10 years. During Covid, our teams have described it as invaluable.
We had cohorts of patients that we needed to contact quickly to let them know about vaccinations. With Mjog, we could target a group and get that message out to them very efficiently, and we subsequently received a high rate of responses too.
It's saved our admin teams a huge amount of time. We've been able to reach out to large groups of specific patients simultaneously -- to contact them individually in such a small timeframe would be a non-starter.
Over time we've learned to work together as a team and to communicate effectively with each other so that everyone knows when a batch message is going out. Our reception can then prepare for an increase in calls, and we can manage appointments properly.
How will you continue to use Mjog over the coming months?
We plan to continue using the messaging service on a day-to-day basis for things like appointment reminders. We are going to send messages to patients for blood pressure check-ups, for example, over the next few weeks. As face-to-face appointments dropped during Covid, some cohorts haven't been able to visit the practice for these sorts of treatments and check-ups, so we'll be using Mjog to help us slowly and safely get back to normal.
We're also looking forward to trying Desktop GP too. We've already been working with the Mjog team on this, providing feedback and suggestions, which we look forward to developing over the coming months.