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Emergency medical response flags

The medical emergency response will flag a message to the patient signposting them to either contact 999 or attend their local emergency department.

This is triggered by the patient responding that they are experiencing any of the symptoms in the emergency disclaimer screen shown:

If triggered, either by answering 'I am experiencing some of these' to the above question or by triggering any other Emergency medical response flag during the consultation, this is the message shown to patients:

If the patient chooses to end the consultation, this message comes up:

In the Microsoft Excel usage reports sent weekly to nominated practice contacts, you can see the ‘diverted’ number which tells you how many eConsults were diverted by these flags.

There are different alerts and warning screens for patients who express thoughts about suicide or self-harm. Find out more about our suicide checking mechanism.


Urgent issue flags

The urgent issue response will result in a message that signposts the patient to either urgently contact the GP surgery (if open) for an urgent appointment or to contact NHS 111 or an appropriate out of hours service.

If the patient triggers this flag, they see the below message (it varies slightly depending on if the practice is open or closed and where the practice is located):

If the patient chooses to end the consultation, this message comes up (again, next steps advice varies depending on practice location):

If the flag has been triggered because of a mental health concern, they are also suggested to speak to the Samaritans by email or telephone.

In the Microsoft Excel usage reports sent weekly to nominated practice contacts, you can see the ‘diverted’ number which tells you how many eConsults were diverted by these flags.


Coronavirus screens and alerts

After the emergency screener question, patients are asked about symptoms associated with COVID-19:

If they answer 'Yes' they are shown this screen:


Flags in reports and email subject lines

Red flags and caution flags are shown in several places, to alert the practice to the fact that this submission needs to be prioritised.

  • Email report subject line

  • They key in the eConsult report

  • As an icon next to the patient's answers

Red flag answers will allow the consultation to be submitted to the practice and a red flag icon will be shown next to that answer on the eConsult report that the clinician reviews.

This flag has been put in place to highlight possible cancer flags which may require a 2-week referral.

Caution answers will allow the consultation to be submitted to the practice and a yellow exclamation mark icon will be shown next to the answer on the eConsult report that the clinician reviews.

This is to guide the clinician to this answer that may require further investigation or questioning as the answer may not be as expected in that questionnaire.


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