Moving beyond total triage to manage practice demands

September 2, 2020

The continued use of total triage has been cautiously welcomed by most, but there are questions over how it can help address the workload challenge facing general practice. A recent Best Practice UK webinar looked at how one practice was using Klinik’s Total Triage System to address workforce issues by supporting a Whole System Triage™ approach.

Covid-19 forced the pace of digitisation in primary care, with total triage introduced within a few weeks. Its continued use is welcomed, but there are concerns over how it might help GP surgeries cope with burgeoning demand.

In a recent Best Practice webinar, Homewell surgery explained how it was using AI-infused technology to reduce the workload on GP surgeries.

Developed by GPs and used in hundreds of primary care centres, UK Sales and Operations Director Ben Wood described how Klinik directs patients to the optimal resource in primary care. It puts information supplied by the patient into a medically-supervised AI engine that identifies the urgency, prioritises the need, and can then allocate each case to the right team within the practice.

It is being used at Homewell to deliver Whole System Triage™, a new approach to primary care that has been developed by Carradale Futures to help general practice respond to the fact that demand is outstripping supply.

Carradale Futures Director Jake Arnold-Forster explained that this approach uses patient-generated information into a consistent online triage process. By using AI-driven decision support with patient flow management, practices could ensure that patients are directed to the right type of care. Klinik’s online consultation and patient flow management software supports such an approach.

Lead nurse and Practice Partner Sarah Harrison revealed how the technology was delivering results at the Homewell practice.

Advanced nurse practitioners use Klinik to triage a prioritised list of patients, dealing with many enquiries themselves. They also direct patients to other members of the practice team, such as social prescribers, or practice coordinator staff. GPs then get to see those patients they really need to see, and can spend more time where it is needed most.

Phone and video consultations, which are unlikely to save a practice time or money, are used only when necessary, helping to reduce practice workload, and avoiding one of the pitfalls of total triage.

The technology is also helping beyond practice walls. Klinik’s data dashboard breaks down demand by clinical domain. The practice can see that there is a high volume of musculoskeletal and mental health issues in the community, which informs discussions with Primary Care Network colleagues on the workforce required to address local needs.

Sarah said she was amazed at how well Klinik has worked at Homewell. Revisit the full webinar to find out more, and get in touch to find out more.


Klinik Access is an online consultation & patient flow management software that directs patients to the optimal resource in primary care. The system’s unique algorithm interprets the person’s symptoms to make a provisional assessment, and estimates the urgency of the care needed. Based on this, the person is automatically referred to the right place for care to begin.

Dr Petteri Hirvonen
Tel: +358 500 122 444
“Feedback from other practices using the system was very positive, especially how responsive the company was to people’s needs.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
“For any other practice I would say this would make a valuable addition to the practice. In the current environment, it is becoming essential to have an efficient triage service that can assess risk and identify urgency, so that care can be given according to need, rather than demand. I would strongly recommend this to any GP practice.”
Dr Michael Curran, GP partner
Church Street Medical Centre
"With the Klinik online consultation service, we can now get the correct patient to the correct point of care in the most efficient way."
Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell
Haxby Group
“This new service will make life easier for patients as they will only have to tell us what their problem is once and be treated or advised in the most appropriate way.”
Dr Matthew Bramley, GP Partner
The Mount View Practice
"With the Klinik online consultation service, we can now get the correct patient to the correct point of care in the most efficient way."
Dr Thomas Patel-Campbell, GP Partner
Haxby Group
“In many instances, patients felt we were a barrier to their GP. Now, we can explain this new solution will put their care needs first, rather than simply working on a first come first served basis.”
Kelly Butterfield, Reception Manager
Haxby Group