It’s that time of year again! No I’m not talking about the Easter holidays. I’m not talking about the kids driving you mad at home asking you for the twentieth time ‘what are we doing today’. I’m not talking about the fact it’s stopped raining and on occasion you can go out without your brolly. I’m talking about year end. Year end has gone and the New Year begins. QOF year 2016-2017 is here and it’s all going to be different this time isn’t it?!
Here in Wales the contract this time is spread over two years so for the first time in a while I actually feel quite confident of what we need to do from 1st April 2016. It’s amazing isn’t it!! No waiting until February next year for templates to update or horrible surprises in January when you find out everyone with brown hair needs to provide a urine sample (ok that last bit isn’t quite true…!)
So.. What can we do to be a little bit more prepared this year?
These are my top 7 tips!
- Be prepared!!! Sound obvious but don’t leave everything until the last minute. Recall patients regularly over the 12 months!
- Get the team involved – update the team, send emails around every month or so letting them know how the practice is doing in terms of QOF. Make sure all the staff know what QOF is, it’s surprising sometimes who doesn’t. Make it something to be proud of!
- Opportunistic!! My favourite word – encourage clinicians, admin, GPs to get the work done opportunistically. It’s so frustrating when Mr. White has been in 27 times and yet still hasn’t had his foot check done. I sometimes go through the appointments highlighting any work that needs to be done for QOF, we all know how clinicians like to close that pop up box because it ‘gets in the way’!
- Train up at least one member of staff really well to get the recalls done. Get them to understand the work and also encourage common sense. You might not need to call in a patient for a diabetic check if they’ve already had a review in hospital for instance.
- Review the targets regularly and bring them to partner/team meetings. Keep QOF on the agenda and divide the work up amongst the team including your clinical staff
- Use technology! In Wales we now have access to texting patients too – ideal for sending out recalls to hundreds of patients in only a few minutes. If you haven’t set it up then do, it takes minutes and is very useful.
- Finally – keep yourself sane, drink lots of tea and have some emergency Oreos on hand in your drawer and remember you’re human! You can’t do everything!
Being prepared might just help you handle the new QOF year by planning your patients…… leaving you with more patience for the day to day stuff!