This site is intended for health professionals only

Patient access to test results online could save GPs 40 days a year

5 September 2016

Share this article

Giving patients access to their medical records online could save over a month’s worth of time, GPs have said.

The Swan Practice in Buckingham has said they saved 40 days a year on calls and appointments with patients wanting to discuss test results.

Some 1,200 patients in the practice are now able to log on to Patient Access to view test results after their GP has checked them.

Previously, patients would ring reception five days after a test to get results, or book an appointment.

Since initiating the service a year ago, the 20,000-patient practice has reported halving the number of these calls they receive each day from 50 to 25, with each call usually lasting three minutes.

Over of a quarter of the patients who use the online service do so in order to manage a long-term condition such as asthma or diabetes.

Rebecca Pryse, GP partner at The Swan Practice, said: “We initially only offered the online service to patients when they came in for blood or urine tests. The take-up was good and we are now offering it to all patients who register.

“Not only is it saving the practice time, it has revolutionised self-care. The GPs can add a comment to the online test results, explaining what it all means so patients know what to do next and don’t have to call. They are also encouraged to visit health information websites for more information.”

The move follows an NHS England drive to give all patients access to GP online services at their surgery.

More than 95% of surgeries now offer an online service such as Patient Access.

Dr Arvind Madan, NHS England Director of Primary Care said: “We understand our patients lead busy lives and finding time to schedule doctors’ appointments, pick up prescriptions or call up for test results can be a challenge. 

“We want to ensure faster, easier access for patients, as well as support hard pressed practices in becoming more efficient.”