GP Health Referral Schemes are a great way of encouraging previously inactive patients to improve their health through a planned exercise programme. Derbyshire County Primary Care Trust is responsible for more than a dozen schemes across the county. Now a specially designed extranet allows doctors and fitness providers to record information on each patient’s progress and enables the PCT to monitor results. The Trust has also commissioned a website to give wider publicity to the scheme and to encourage healthy and active living.
Mary Hague is Derbyshire County PCT’s Public Health Strategy Manager. She said: “We needed to bring all of our Health Referral Schemes under one umbrella. Not only would this be more efficient but it would help us fulfil a requirement, by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), to establish a robust evaluation system to show value for money and demonstrate the effectiveness of the scheme.
“We asked Quiet Storm for a private website and database where GP’s and fitness centres could record information and we could monitor the scheme. Being in charge of this project had seemed daunting at first as I don’t have a technical background but I needn’t have worried. Quiet Storm understood our requirement immediately and were great at explaining how the site would work and what information we would need to supply.
“The web team have created a password protected extranet and database which allows us to easily collate all the information we need and pull off reports at any time. It has been live since April ’09 and feedback from all users has been very positive. In the past providers used a mixture of spreadsheets and paper methods to record the information. This web system is easy to use and to monitor and is much more professional.”
Quiet Storm is now building a second site which is aimed at the general public. It will link to other healthy websites like NHS choices as well as provide information about the Health Referral programme.