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Choose and Book upgrade to offer improved service searching

By Steve Nowottny

The controversial Choose and Book system is to be revamped in a bid to make finding services for patients easier and boost GP use.

An update to the software will allow GPs to search for services using SNOMED- the internationally agreed standard of clinical terms. The hope is the system will improve searches by finding the right services even if users are not using the exact same key words as providers. GPs will also be able to search for services specific to a patient's age and gender.

The upgrade – to come into effect next Monday [29 June] - follows a review of all 32,000 services currently listed on Choose and Book, with SNOMED terms having been assigned to 80%.

Dr Stephen Miller, medical director of Choose and Book, said that version 4.2 of the software had been 18 months in the making.

‘GPs told us that they wanted to search using clinical terms, similar to those already in use in many other clinical systems, because they thought it would help patients get referred more quickly and more effectively to the right place for treatment.'

It was hoped that SNOMED coding would encourage more GPs to use Choose and Book rather than delegating to administrative staff, he added – although there remain fears that GPs may be confused by the new system.

‘My biggest fear is that GPs will switch the system on 29th June and say "what has happened to Choose and Book?"', said Dr Miller

Choose and Book is currently used for between 53% and 55% of first outpatient referrals.

Choose and Book v4.2 - preview the new version

The attached Powerpoint presentation from Connecting for Health explains what the new version offers and how it will change the way you use Choose and Book

Choose and Book 4.2 - preview the new version

Connecting for Health have put together a presentation explaining how the new version of Choose and Book will work - and offering a sneak preview of how it will look.

See the full presentation here .

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