Diagnostics as support for innovative care paths

Primary care is under pressure from the growing demand for care and the increasing shortage of general practitioners. Together with its clients, Star-shl is taking steps to guarantee accessible, high-quality and efficient care while ensuring patient convenience, now and in the future.

Digital options can play a key supporting role in GP practices. Over the past year, we explored ways that Star-shl could provide valuable support in the field of diagnostics for the care paths on the Quin platform at the regional level.

Within the context of a Quin care path, the GP consults a medical specialist as needed. This consultation happens after completing the diagnostic process remotely, and by facilitating joint digital consultations with the patient if necessary. Close cooperation between primary care and specialist care prevents unnecessary hospital referrals for the patient and avoids incurring care costs where possible.

The pilot targets the care path for patients who may be eligible for a new hip or prosthesis. Developed by GPs and medical specialists, this care path saw its first deployment in the practice of Dr Tanneke Gerritsen, a GP at Quin Dokters Puttershoek:

Our ambition is to provide access to high-quality care for patients in the GP practice. Digitalisation is vitally important in order to safeguard quality and accessibility of care, now and in the future, as almost everyone agrees. For example, digitalisation can contribute to smart facilitation of specialised knowledge in primary care. However, ensuring that it is integrated into the practice in meaningful ways requires commitment from everyone involved. It is good that we took that step together.

— Tanneke Gerritsen, GP at the Quin Dokters Puttershoek practice

The care path follows these steps: The patient opens the Quin app and enters their symptoms. Their GP evaluates the symptoms and supplements self-reporting with the medical history and physical exam. The radiology diagnostics offered by Star-shl completes the diagnostic process. After that, the orthopaedic specialist can assess the case. This approach means that the orthopaedic specialist can digitally access all the details needed on the patient, the GP, the images and the assessment of the X-ray by Star-shl and can use that information to advise a course of action remotely.

The Quin platform connects the patient, GP, diagnostic services, and medical specialist throughout the care path. In doing so, Quin facilitates access to specialist knowledge in primary care, allowing GPs to refer patients for more specific care, and only as needed.

In 2022, work will continue on optimising the care path and rolling it out for broader use. Based on the infrastructure created by this point, the aim is to expand to other symptoms, focussing on orthopaedics for now.