An increase in the number of patients booking, cancelling and amending appointments online can reduce phone calls to practices. Benefits for patients and staff include increased patient satisfaction and greater operational efficiencies for the practice.
The use of online booking services can decrease waiting times for appointments by reducing the number of people who do not turn up for their appointment.
Increased use of online repeat prescription services can lead to reduced travel time for patients, more convenience and higher levels of patient satisfaction. Additionally, it can result in a decrease in the quantity of drugs required to be held in stock, reducing cost outlay for pharmacies.
Digital technology has the power to change the relationship between patients and their GP practices in the same way that it has changed our relationships in other areas of life, such as managing our finances or shopping.
Patients have been telling us that they want to be offered more choice and control in how they access GP services. Increasingly, they also want to be informed and involved in decisions about their own care and treatment. The evidence for the benefits of online interactions between patients and their general practices continues to grow. Sources for this include the evidence review underpinning the Department of Health’s information strategy, The Power of Information.