Why a ‘Total Triage’ model fails to maximise your transformation ambitions – but ‘Whole System Triage’ can

Essential reading for GPs: In this quick one-minute read, Jake Arnold-Forster, co-founder of Carredale Futures and special advisor to Klinik Healthcare Solutions, recommends GPs look beyond the pandemic when considering online triage solutions.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, NHS England is encouraging general practice to move to a ‘total triage’ solution, whereby every patient is triaged via a phone call or online form before making an appointment. Footfall at surgeries will decrease dramatically, thereby protecting staff and patients from the risk of infection, therefore there is logic in this approach.

But consider this: does moving your existing triage process online address the wider challenges your surgery faces, such as inability to reduce or remove unnecessary appointments, improving financial resilience and reducing costs, or enhancing patient experience?

Whilst total triage is a welcome shift in the right direction for primary care transformation, it simply relocates costs and inefficiencies of primary care online. It also fails to take full advantage of the best available triaging systems that have the potential to release significant benefits for both GPs and the wider health economy.

Introducing Whole System Triage™

Whole System Triage™ is an approach that has been developed by Carradale Futures over three years working closely with 20+ practices. Whole System Triage™ channels people to the right advice, given in the right order of urgency, by the right expert (or team of experts) at the lowest possible cost.

Powered by clinically-proven, easy-to-use, scalable and quick to deploy digital solutions, Whole System Triage™ can help release immediate value to your practice, whilst future-proofing your business through:

  • the removal of 50% of appointments that GPs believe they do not need to have with patients
  • cost savings of up to £200,000 per annum for a practice with a 7,000 list, based on more efficient staff management and reducing unnecessary appointments
  • optimised referral and prescribing rates
  • 24/7 access to care for patients through an online platform
  • capturing high-quality clinical data to enable personal health care planning
  • forging a single healthcare system that ensures a seamless; triage-diagnosis-treatment-recover process for the patient

Klinik: a game changer for the NHS

Poorly designed websites and online query-based forms that patients often interact with across the NHS will not be able to support the move towards WST. This is why encouraging people to choose an online service over a phone call has largely failed across the NHS. The importance of fit-for-purpose technology is a key enabler for Whole System Triage™.

Klinik Healthcare Solutions, a Finnish-based health tech provider, embodies the WST philosophy and believes it is a gamer changer for NHS and primary care. Indeed, the Klinik Whole System Triage™ solution, a combination of AI clinical decision support and patient flow management technology have been designed in line with it.

Beyond the pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times, with many practices such as yours adjusting to a new way of managing patient care. Many GPs are experiencing lower levels of demand.

But what happens when the UK eventually returns to normal life? The same pressures your surgery was facing are likely to remain.

50+ practices across York, Hull, Lancashire and the South East are currently using the Klinik system through telephone and direct online channels and are well placed to manage future demand and move towards Whole System Triage™. Two practices in Hampshire and Sussex have implemented Klinik with a detailed plan to implement Whole System Triage™. All these practices are:

  • including up to date coronavirus triage and guidance through the online service
  • providing more responsive service to patients
  • managing all incoming demand through a single solution
  • keeping staff safe by enabling remote working
  • reducing pressure on patient to staff ratios
  • implementing the solution remotely, especially helpful during the Covid-19 crisis

There will never be a more receptive time for change, with primary care digitisation at the forefront. Consider Whole System Triage™ as your route to sustainable transformation beyond the pandemic.


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.

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