A new website and app have been launched in Lincolnshire to help people find the most appropriate health care service for their medical needs.
The ASAPLincs website and app has been built using the very latest attendance data from Lincolnshire’s emergency departments.
Detailed behavioural research has also gone in to developing the product.
Residents can identify their symptoms or condition from some of the most commonly seen in emergency departments.
It then displays the most appropriate local treatment service for them.
Health bosses believe the new product will help patients get the best care in the fastest possible time. It will also help reduce pressure on emergency departments through fewer unnecessary attendances.
Ruth Cumbers, Programme Director for Urgent Care in Lincolnshire, said: “We’re pleased to be able to launch the ASAPLincs website and app and firmly believe it can make a difference to the health care system in the county.
“Lincolnshire’s emergency departments are under pressure – in part due to a large number of unnecessary attendances.
“Lots of research has been done into the way our brains operate. The results of that have been fed into the development of this app.
“That is why we are confident it can help us educate and advise patients that the emergency department is not necessarily the best place for them to be.
“Patients receiving appropriate care from the right provider is important.
“This is not only for their own health, but to help ease the pressure on emergency departments.
“We want residents to be aware of alternatives, to trust the alternatives and know when and where they are available.
“The app and website does all of this in an easily accessible way.
“The app is available at the push of a button – whenever, wherever and for whatever reason a patient needs it.”
In other places where the app has been developed, emergency department attendances fell by around 14,000 in the first three months, while use of alternative provisions increased.
Nina Gavin, Lead Researcher at ICE Creates, who created the website and app, said: “The launch of ASAP in Lincolnshire follows our extensive behavioural research with citizens and stakeholders.
“From this, ICE were able to co-create an intuitive digital app and website that has been designed to support citizens to choose the most appropriate service based on their symptoms.
“The qualitative research indicated that citizens had a lack of awareness of available services. People were defaulting to presenting at emergency departments with conditions that could be more appropriately treated elsewhere.
“Via the app, residents are prompted to check their symptoms and conditions. They’re then shown the most appropriate service options for their needs.
“ASAP also provides self-care advice. This helps people confidently make the right choice, at the right time, in the right place.”
The website can be accessed via www.asaplincs.nhs.uk while the ASAPLincs app is available on both Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded via your app store.