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The physiotherapy self-referral system (SRS)

Our first project as Provide Digital came about thanks to a Knowledge Transfer Partnership, which are designed to help businesses innovate for growth.

KTPs connect forward-thinking businesses with the UK’s world class knowledge bases to deliver a business-led innovation project.

Provide Digital Managing Director Paul Twyman with a neuroscience background and its Chief Technology Officer Dheeraj Rathee, with his expertise in AI, were invited to deliver software for a triage system for what is now its parent company, the Essex-based healthcare organisation Provide.

This software was designed to allow patients to self-refer themselves for physiotherapy without having to see their GP, saving both themselves and the medical profession precious time and resources.

At the time, Provide had no digital infrastructure at all but it recognised the need to accelerate the process for physiotherapy services as a priority.

It was taking upwards of three months for a patient to access treatment, mainly because although a GP referral form went straight to central processing unit, it contained minimal information. This created a backwards and forwards between the two to get the information needed surrounding the injury and then to determine the urgency of the triage.

The digital Self-Referral System was designed to allow patients to input all the necessary information at the first step thanks to a questionnaire created by the clinicians. From here, patients could be digitally categorised and prioritised.

This cut waiting times down from three months to just a week for those in most urgent need.

On top of this, if the patient was not deemed to need urgent care, they were directed to other features on the app that taught them how to manage and treat their condition at home.

This was created to reduce the waiting list for treatment which, because it was so long, often meant the patient has self-healed before the appointment time.

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