Patients promised online GP booking by 2015
The BBC has reported that patients in England will be able to book GP appointments and get test results online within three years. The moves are part of an Information Strategy designed to “take the hassle out of the health service”.
Online communications between patients and their doctors are already happening in some places, but the strategy sets out plans to ensure there is universal adoption of digital technologies.
The Department of Health is also encouraging the NHS and private companies to develop new health apps for smart phones and tablet computers.
Repeat prescriptions will also be available electronically from 2015 too. The deadline mirrors the goal of giving patients access to electronic medical records which had already been announced.
Sophie Bales, a Medical Injury Solicitor from Ashtons Legal, comments:
“This is a positive step as it will make life much easier for patients and ensure that all patients will have more opportunity for online communications with their GP surgeries. However, it is important that those who do not have IT access can continue to book appointments in the usual way.
It is also very important that measures are in place to ensure that communications are secure and confidentiality is maintained. This is of particular importance when giving patients access to their electronic medical records and it is vital that this system is secure so that patients are confident that there are records are safe.”
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