The Netherlands has an aging population; the elderly live longer, and there are fewer babies born. There is pressure on GPs and GP practices to ensure that all people within their area receive the necessary care. The workload for GPs and their colleagues is already very high. Therefore, IT should help so that caregivers can focus on their primary duty: providing care to patients. This means that all care processes should be digitized as much as possible. And patients should be part of their care process.
Not only do GPs face an increasing workload, but their range of responsibilities also expands. And the number of full-time GPs, Assistant GPs (POHs), and practice nurses does not meet the current and future care demand. This creates even more pressure on active care professionals’ workload. Reducing that pressure is one of the main challenges PharmaPartners GPs addresses in their product development. After having spoken extensively to users, PharmaPartners approached Yonder to further brainstorm on technological innovations that will help to alleviate the workload.
PharmaPartners’ motto is ‘Connecting IT for first-line caregivers and patients.’ Software innovations to connect GPs and patients, but also to reduce the administrative tasks of GPs. In 2019, they invited Yonder as a partner to develop Smart Protocols, the innovative new functionality within the Medicom product.
The idea was to improve the protocols. There are Classic Protocols, which are a national standard in the market. There are Basic Protocols, which include much more intuitive forms than the classic standard and include the POH-Mental Care, youth care, and elderly care. However, good these protocols are, they require a lot of input. So, by making them ‘smart,’ PharmaPartners could help their GPs by easing the administrative duties.
At the hackathon, a team of PharmaPartners and Yonder members joined in the Netherlands for a dedicated 3-day period to create a Proof of Concept (PoC). We aimed was to have a working PoC that tested the concept and could be demoed to the PharmaPartners’ business units and the SIG. The SIG is a Special Interest Group of participating customers who have a stake in the innovation as well. So far, all that they have seen were mockups. But the Hackathon involved more than just creating a working PoC. The smart protocols would use Blueriq technology, and this had to be thoroughly tested.
The team successfully built an end-to-end flow; they also created a testing plan and a risk analysis for the implementation during the Hackathon. The team delivered a great effort, and the result showed that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Combining the domain knowledge with the technical expertise delivered the innovative protocols that really unburden the care providers.
Once we finished the Hackathon and the project got a green light from the SIG and management, we continued as the business unit’s technical partner. We took care of the requirements analysis, development, and testing for Smart Protocols. So, we came up with functional and technical solutions, did performance testing, supported the scale-up of the product and the deployment. Yonder now continues to monitor performance in production based on dashboards built by the team for these purposes.
As Yonder, we are proud to be PharmaPartners’ technical partner. We are proud to have been involved from the beginning in developing Smart Protocols, an innovation that impacts the way GPs and other users work and improves the quality of care. We will continue to support PharmaPartners GPs in developing new functionalities that will help the GPs save time, giving them more time to focus on patients. This is especially important now, during the COVID-19 crisis, making us aware of how important it is to have an efficient healthcare system.