Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure reviewed its Exercise on Referral scheme in 2014, moving from a paper based referral system to a software solution from ReferAll, which specialises in software to enhance the efficiency of exercise referrals from healthcare providers to leisure providers.
ReferAll’s software solution facilitates online referrals from Primary Care, Mental Health teams, Cardiac Rehab teams and hospitals to Redbridge’s Exercise on Referral team and, in turn, to all the centres in the borough with gyms. These included Wanstead Leisure Centre and Fullwell Cross Leisure Centre, in Barkingside, Essex, where Active Lifestyle gym and classes and cardiac rehab phase 4 sessions were being run. Since 2008, when the original scheme was set up, over 6,500 patients have participated in the scheme with 1,600 alone in the last year.
Steve Smith, Exercise on Referral Manager at Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure set up the original scheme and was the main protagonist for the change to ReferAll’s software solution.
He explained: “Originally everything for the scheme was set up manually. We used outlook diaries in combination with registers and created a spreadsheet to record information such as ethnicity, age and postcode. Collating the data was very time intensive, particularly when we had to create reports.”
ReferAll offers a fast and efficient referral pathway for the leisure trust’s Exercise on Referral schemes from GPs via an online form. The referral from the GP appears instantly on the leisure provider’s dashboard, from where they can use ReferAll’s software solution to move the patient through their service, setting target dates and recording actions completed against the referral, such as contacting the patient and booking appointments, for example, via a task bar. The integrated system also provides the leisure provider with information about where the referrals come from.
Steve Smith commented: “It was my decision to move forward with ReferAll. I liked the fact that it was tailor made to fit our policies and targets so it truly matched what we needed. This is really convenient. In addition, the system is flexible so that we can add other services in the future, such as weight management for example. As a company, ReferAll are highly professional and very supportive. Their training is excellent and they are always quick to respond to any queries or questions. In addition, we have regular meetings to monitor our progress with the system.”
ReferAll’s software solution has been used exclusively by the Exercise on Referral team since the beginning of June 2014. Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure now use the system to run all their Exercise on Referral and Cardiac Rehab programmes.
Steve Smith said: “The system has improved efficiency, as we no longer have to wade through paperwork. The integrated task bar sets up jobs for instructors so that they call patients back and set up appointments effectively and efficiently. Reports are also easier as the information, numbers, cancellations, postcode, ethnicity etc., are all readily available. It is reassuring to know that we have all the data there and the facilities to filter it when we need to. This means that the process is less stressful and time intensive and so we can spend more time with patients. It will be interesting to see how this efficiency has improved patient retention at the end of the year.”
ReferAll also provided Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure with an integrated and automated text service, which sends SMS messages to patients to remind them about their initial, six week and six month assessments.
Alongside the Exercise Referral software, ReferAll’s software solutions can be linked to fitness equipment so that patient’s exercise sessions can be monitored, both by the Exercise on Referral team but also by the patient’s GP, who can log in to the system to evaluate what they are doing in terms of exercise.
Redbridge Culture and Leisure is aiming to phase out paper referrals from GPs early in 2015.