Trust SPAs: increasingly important but in serious need of review?

Most trusts operate some form of Single Point of Access (SPA). They fulfil the essential function of reviewing, structuring and assigning incoming referrals.

The effective management of this process has always had far reaching implications for the overall efficiency of a trust.  A successful SPA can save a consultant precious time or, if ineffective, can add unnecessary delay.

Importance is growing; referral volumes are increasing, and there is unlikely to be any upturn in available resources or funding soon.

As SPAs come under greater pressure, delays can begin to set in and the risk of error increases. Both of which have a direct impact on patients and their referral to treatment times (RTT targets temporarily relaxed?)

Over the two days at Health Plus Care 2017, we met with a number of people from trusts and community services who described their SPA processes.

One thing is clear, although SPAs may have started out with a narrow focus, their remit over time has expanded (some provide clinically led triage, others provide a booking service and communicate directly with patients). Consequently, several ad hoc processes have been adopted – increasing the complexity.

Staff are reliant on the use of multiple systems, email inboxes and spreadsheets. It’s this increasing complexity, combined with greater pressure, that should prompt a review of SPA processes.

psHEALTH’s Advanced Referral & Triage has been designed to consolidate systems and eliminate time-consuming repetitive tasks – like copying patient details from an email attachment into an electronic patient record.

By eliminating these tasks, ART can help SPAs to better utilise existing resources, and prepare to scale even further.

The outcome of which can have a profound beneficial impact on the overall performance of a trust or community service and, most importantly, their patients.

Contact us today to see how ART can assist your SPA.