To ensure that SPIRE delivers a fit for purpose service, a network of Pathfinder Practices are involved in the development, refinement and testing of the initial SPIRE service. The network consists of a range of practices across Scotland, varying by practice size and contract type, deprivation category and geographical location including both rural and urban.

The Pathfinder initiative was launched on the 23rd September 2014 following a successful event during which 89 practices volunteered to be involved.

A number of workshops were run in 2015 with groups of Pathfinder practices. Practice representatives provided input to the communications for SPIRE, helped shape the reporting tool at a local level and helped the SPIRE team to identify an initial set of useful reports for practices.

Pathfinders continued supporting SPIRE in 2016 by assisting with SPIRE installations, assisting the analytical team in testing reports, and participating in focus groups on the Flu Dashboard.

The positive and constructive feedback received from participants in relation to these workshops was encouraging and is being used to help develop the resources and the reports for SPIRE going forward.

Pathfinder practices have helped with:

  • Exploring how GPs can benefit from the SPIRE reporting tool and input to its future development
  • User acceptance IT testing of the data extraction tool and advising on further developments
  • Assessment and advice to minimise the potential impact of implementing SPIRE on normal GP business processes
  • Assessing and advising on training sessions and education materials for full rollout of the SPIRE software
  • Encouraging other practices to utilise SPIRE by sharing the benefits of functionality
  • Involvement in the planning and development of communications materials for health professionals and the general public