Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Digital access and patient demand

Online consultations are the solution—but to which problems?

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 16 June 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n1515
  1. Richard Pratt, GP
  1. Three Spires Medical Practice, Truro, UK
  1. rich{at}

Widespread adoption of online consultations during the pandemic has meant that they have been tested extensively in live settings. They were implemented to reduce the risk of transmission of covid-19, but what problems do they solve now and how can they help? Three broad themes occur: access, triage, and flexibility of working.

By priming a telephone encounter with information from an online template we can achieve shared understanding much earlier in the conversation and so build empathy, even …

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