Visiba, a company supported by Health Innovation KSS, has published an evaluation (Dr Painter A; Dr Leung K; Dr Rajan R; Dr Gillespie L) assessing the impact of using AI-enabled patient triage in the operational delivery of primary care.

Artificial intelligence (AI) offers a potential solution to managing demand at the front door of primary care. Visiba is an AI-enabled triage solution which Health Innovation KSS supported to broker a trial with an NHS Primary Care Partnership to assess their AI triage tool.

In the trial, patients who would previously have been given same-day appointments were triaged using the AI triage model. Patients were either sent a text message with a link to the triage webpage or reception staff completed the questions on behalf of the patient over the phone. The AI triage model provided reception staff with immediate feedback on the recommended urgency of the case. This information was used by clinical staff to navigate the patient to the optimal healthcare professional in the appropriate timeframe based on clinical need.

The study found that for patients previously receiving same day appointments, 10.1% qualified for assessment within 60 minutes and 16.6% needed same-day assessment. 60.4% of all cases had urgency levels varying from next day, up to a one-month assessment timeline and 12.8% of all cases indicated that self-care would be appropriate.

The AI patient triage tool uses a clinical feedback loop to provide continual learning from real-world cases and clinicians. An analysis of patient cases deemed to be non-urgent by the model, with feedback from on-site NHS primary care clinicians, showed a 95.82% clinical agreement with the non-urgent classification of cases.

The study concluded that AI-enabled patient triage at the front door of primary care has the potential to support the workforce to undertake complex triage decisions.

You can read the full evaluation here.

Attending Rewired 2024? Visit the Innovation Stage on 13 March, 3:15 – 4pm to find out more from our panel of experts on NHS Smart Triage Service: using AI to triage urgent care:

  • Jenny Partridge, Innovation Manager, Health Innovation KSS
  • Shaun Crinion, Deputy Head of IUC and Digital, NHS England
  • Dr Ragu Rajan, Senior Partner, Wealden Ridge Medical Partnership; GP trainer, PCN CD, & Sussex ICB GP partner member
  • Dr Annabelle Painter, NHS doctor, Clinical AI Fellow, Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare and Medical Director, Visiba