The Health Innovation Network’s Technology and Information team has recently published the report ‘Online GP consultation services: Understanding the opportunity’.
The report provides practical guidance for organisations working in primary care, which are considering implementing a system for online GP consultation services.
Both within London and nationally, there is great interest in how developments in digital technology could benefit the delivery and experience of healthcare. Primary care in particular is one of the most significant areas in which the benefits of introducing new digital technologies into health and care are felt. This report acknowledges the growing interest among GPs in a very specific area of technology delivery – the use of web-based technology to enable GP consultation services.
Focusing on a case study of the eConsult platform developed by the Hurley Group of GP practices in London, the report suggests specific benefits in a number of areas, including greater flexibility of access for patients, and opportunities for enhanced supported self-care. Our findings also indicate that the presence of the eConsult system has led to a significant increase in the diagnosis of conditions or symptoms that could be considered to have stigma attached.