E-consultation software could give patients better access to their GPs, according to health experts.
GP practices in Lincolnshire have recently started to pilot different e-consultation software providers with a view to making them available across the county in future.
E-consultations are appointments delivered over the internet, still allowing the patient and clinician to see and hear each other, but not requiring lengthy travel to a physical clinic.
St John’s Medical Centre in Grantham has been piloting the AskmyGP system and patients have been responding positively. AskmyGP makes it easier for patients to get help from their own GP by being able to contact their GP, through their practice website.
To date, more than 80 per cent of patients asked have said the new service is better than previously.
Darren Altus, Operations Director for K2 Healthcare, is leading the pilot across the county.
He said: “The e-consultation services deliver efficiencies to GPs, a better service for patients and ensures they get to the best place at the right time for their needs.
“We are seeing that there is much improved access for their patients which everybody is really pleased about. Instead of waiting weeks for an appointment, patients are being dealt with generally on the same day.
“E-consultation is the best way to understand and manage workload and get people quickly through to see the right person to help them with their issue.
“It is not about machines taking over from doctors. It is not about forcing people to use computers instead of their GPs, it is about using technology alongside the expertise of GPs and other clinicians to get people into the best place to see the right people in the quickest time for their needs.”