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Abstract: Policy directives and technological innovation are increasingly encouraging and facilitating online engagement between patients and healthcare providers. Typically, this involves using a Patient Access Portal (PAP) that enables patients to book appointments, make medication requests, view their medical records and send messages using the internet. Studies of the use of online services in primary care globally, have found that patients using PAPs report increased convenience and satisfaction. Positive impacts on patient safety were noted.
This presentation reports on the findings of a relatively large cross-sectional survey of NHS patients in Great Britain who use an online PAP. The survey sought to elicit their views on how valuable they found the PAP in comparison to other online services such as banking and shopping as well as the value they placed on it in monetary terms. We found that the majority of patients place a high value, but not monetary value on the PAP and report a positive impact from using it. This increased with the number of long term conditions. One in five responders rated the PAP as their favourite online service second only to online banking. Almost three out four responders stated that availability of online access would influence their move to another general practice.
However, PAP usage is low in the UK. The study findings prompt a number of interesting questions on availability and access as well as the significance of patient social characteristics. Given the continued challenges of accessing GPs, the ageing population and increasing levels of population morbidity, we suggest that further work to understand and remove the barriers to online access, without untoward negative consequences for general practice, is urgently required.
Biography: Mohammed A Mohammed is a Professor of Healthcare, Quality & Effectiveness in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford. He is also Deputy Director at the Bradford Institute for Health Research, Academic Director of the Improvement Academy and Non-Executive Director for the Yorkshire & Humberside Academic Health Sciences Network. His main areas of interest are health care quality, performance monitoring, league tables and more generally health services research and the science of improvement. He has extensive experience of teaching and applying the science of improvement to enhance health care quality in primary and secondary care.
Jane Montague is a Lecturer in Health Studies within the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership. Her areas of interest include inequalities in health care and the impact of diversity and cultural difference on health and wellbeing. She has recently been involved in a number of research activities related to patient safety. She has extensive teaching experience at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and is currently the university programme coordinator for the Postgraduate Diploma for Practitioners with a Special Interest (in partnership with The Ridge, Bradford).
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