The full Flinders QUEST team visited our 6th intervention practice, Medical HQ GP Family Practice, which is the only practice located in the Eastern suburbs. Medical HQ were first established in 1919 which must be a record for our QUEST practices.
Medical HQ has 39 participants (mainly older people) in Flinders QUEST. During the meeting we met with the majority of practice staff participating in the trial.
Medical HQ are confident they are implementing the enhanced services to a high standard. Participants are offered longer appointments with their preferred doctors by reception staff, and are followed up by a phone call if they experience a hospitalisation. Medical HQ are also offering personalised plans to participants by way of fortnightly or monthly advanced bookings.
Medical HQ have created a ‘tracking grid’ for the QUEST participants so that the services they are receiving can be monitored. Instances when participants did not see their preferred doctors were found to be related to participants wanting a repeat script or for an UTI (i.e., not for the management of chronic illnesses).
Discussion about our continuity of care measure was raised at the meeting. There are definitely advantages to patients seeing a GP at their usual practice if their preferred GP is unavailable. For example, the patient’s medical records will be available for ‘informational continuity of care’. Based on these conversations we will be including a measure of ‘practice continuity of care’ in our analyses.
Medical HQ’s GPs believe that patients get sufficient time for their problems to be addressed. Longer appointment times however have been useful for the ‘extra’ tasks when appropriate (such as reviewing medication lists). Having these positive perceptions confirmed by patients’ responses to the 6-monthly survey which will ask directly about patients’ time with GPs, will provide an extra layer of ‘quality assurance’.
Thanks to Lindsey and the team at Medical HQ for an enjoyable visit. Our next practice visit will be on 28 March 2019 at Russell Clinic.