Poll Shows UK GPs Lukewarm about Online Patient Record Access

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21st February 2013 17:30 - Health

An online poll of more than 1,000 GPs nationwide by Doctors.net.uk for eHealth Insider (EHI) has discovered that despite the Government's deadline for all patients to have online access to their healthcare records in two years, only 4% of GPs have a practice that currently provides this.

In total, 43% of GPs admitted that their practices had yet to address the issue, 15% said they had a long way to go before their IT system would be ready and 24% claimed they did even not know whether their system allowed patients to access their records online.

Furthermore, 5% of the respondents said their IT system was ready but not live yet, while 9% said it was "nearly ready”.

Meanwhile, only 49% of the GPs who took part in the poll thought that providing patients with online access to their records would be useful, compared to 27% who agreed with the 2015 deadline to implement the system.

The survey also asked GPs about their opinions on email for consultations and using social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to interact with patients – 79% said they had never tried an email consultation, while 58% had never interacted with their patients via social media.

Chief Executive of Doctors.net.uk, Dr Tim Ringrose, responded to the findings by saying that giving patients more control over their healthcare by enabling them to access their GP records online has the potential to bring significant benefits to both the individual and the NHS, however this change represents "a huge cultural shift" for doctors.

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