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Solent NHS Trust takes self-service route for sexual health

NHS trust deploys an integrated sexual health self-service system, digitally triaging patients and aiming to drive proactive intervention

Solent NHS Trust is rolling out a self-service integrated sexual health system for patients, aiming to remotely provide sexual health services.

The sexual health service is part of the trust’s personal health record, supplied by Inform Health. It aims to alleviate pressure on clinics and provide “holistic visibility” over patient data, letting patients manage their sexual health and create their own patient record.

The first phase of the roll-out will give patients the ability to book clinic appointments online and enable staff to digitally triage patients, signposting them to the appropriate treatment.

If patients veer off their treatment path, clinic staff will get an alert via push notification and can take appropriate action and facilitate proactive intervention.

Once fully rolled out, the system will give patients access to repeat contraception, postal testing kits, results and prescriptions, as well as allowing partners who could be at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection to be notified anonymously.

Ynez Symonds, the trust’s sexual health services’ head of quality and professions, said the personal health record helps support the trust’s vision of a joined-up electronic patient record (EPR) system, which is key for the trust’s future.

“Our patients are at the heart of everything we do so making their lives easier and being able to drill down to see what’s happening with patients in our area, so we can effectively target services, is really important,” said Symonds.

“We previously used a system that required patients to input the same demographic information every time they needed to request a testing kit or access condoms online.

“We know from patient feedback that was a barrier to accessing services. Additionally, our previous system didn’t integrate with our Inform EPR used in clinics. This meant there was no easy way to see what patients were requesting and when they were returning kits, so it was near enough impossible to obtain a clear picture, assess trends and effectively tailor our future provision.

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