Thursday, March 07, 2013

An Interesting Survey Of UK GP Attitudes To Aspects of E-Health.

This appeared a few days ago.

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An exclusive eHealth Insider survey, conducted by, shows GPs are far from ready to give patients electronic access to their records by the government’s deadline of 2015. It also shows they are less than keen on the deadline, and other crowd-pleasing ideas, such as email consultations. Lyn Whitfield reports
21 February 2013
The government has hardly made a secret of its desire to see patients get online access to their medical records.
The idea has been flagged up in any number of ministerial speeches, and took form in the NHS IT strategy published last May. Indeed, the pledge to give patients online access to their GP-held records by 2015 was one of the few firm pledges in ‘The Power of Information’.
Since then, the commitment has been reiterated in the mandate issued to the NHS Commissioning Board at the end of last year and in the planning guidance that it issued for the NHS in December.
Despite this, an exclusive survey of 1,000 GPs commissioned by eHealth Insider and conducted by has found that almost no practices are ready to start delivering on the government’s pledge. More worryingly, it suggests that many have yet to start thinking about it.
A long way to go on access
The survey, which was commissioned to explore GP attitudes to patient-facing technology and social media, found that 43% of respondents picked “we haven’t started to address this year” when asked how ready they were to facilitate patient access to records.
A further third said their IT systems still needed work, with 15% of the total sample saying “our IT system is a long way from being ready”, 9% saying it was “nearly” ready, and 5% saying it was ready but “it isn’t live yet.” Just 4% of respondents said “our IT system is ready, and is already live.”
Meanwhile, a quarter (24%) of respondents said that they simply didn’t know how ready their practice was to give patients access to their records.
This pattern of response was consistent across most areas of the UK. Scotland, where there has been no ministerial push on patient records access, had the largest proportion of respondents (53%) likely to say “we haven’t started to address this yet.”
But even in Scotland, 4% of respondents said their practice had a system live. Meanwhile, the old NHS South Central area of England had the smallest proportion of respondents (31%) likely to say they hadn’t made a start.
But in South Central, just 1% of respondents said they had a system that was live; although 6% said their practice had a system that was ready but not live.
Lots more here:
Very interesting views on patient / doctor e-mail and patient access to their electronic records.
Well worth a read.

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