Intended for healthcare professionals


Patients find GP online services “cumbersome,” survey finds

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: (Published 22 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4800
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

Patients are deterred from using online services offered by general practices, such as booking appointments online, because they find the registration process “a pain” and the range of services offered too narrow and inflexible, a survey has found.1

The 2014 NHS Five Year Forward View pledged to “harness technology and innovation” to improve patients’ access to health services through the greater use of apps, video consultations, and email and to reduce pressure on general practices. But little research has looked at how patients use existing technology, so between August and September 2018 Healthwatch Enfield gathered the views of 1071 local people through surveys and face-to-face sessions

The survey found that three quarters of patients were aware it was possible to book GP appointments and order repeat prescriptions through their practice online and that 39% had used this facility. Use increased with age, …

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