In August 2021 a new feature has been added that gives organisations the option to let users of embedded links bypass any restrictions the organisation has on the number of requests they accept each day and the time of day that requests can be sent.  This is so organisations who only provide embedded links to other health and care professionals can allow those professionals to send in requests.

Embedded Links are a way for organisations to direct patients to specific questionnaires.  They were originally developed to allow a Community Pharmacy project in Humber Coast & Vale to use active signposting to help residents.  In that instance the patient journey is:

Patient goes to active signposting service and searches, for example, for cough

Patient is presented with self help information about cough but still wants to send a questionnaire

Patient can click on a link which will take them to Engage Consult, and rather than asking them what their problem is again it knows they’ve searched for help on Cough and automatically takes the patient to the cough questionnaire.

Since then other uses have come to light, such as PCNs using them with care homes and MSK services using them to stop patients sending questionnaires which are inappropriate for that service to deal with.  Another way we can use embedded links is in conjunction with the simple questionnaire; those organisations that just want to have one generic questionnaire can link to this from their website rather than linking to the portal page.

The feature works by using a URL which is unique to that organisation and a specific questionnaire.  This means you can embed the link on a website or you can send it to someone by email, DM, etc…

It’s important to note that because the request is initiated by the patient they’re still asked to confirm that this isn’t an emergency, they’re registered with the practice, etc…