Implementation of a patient portal at Karori Medical Centre has significantly changed the dynamic between the GPs and their patients by making the doctors more accessible.
The centre is “leading the charge” towards a more open and equal relationship between patients and their doctors.
Within the practice 11,500 patients are eligible for a portal (over 16 with their own email address) and of those, 10,000 are registered and 7,000 have activated their account. Enrolments are from across the spectrum, covering both low and high socio-economic groups and the young and old.
Using the portal, called Manage My Health, patients can; book appointments; order repeat prescriptions; see test results and recalls; message their GP; and see their medical notes. They can access the portal via a webpage or an app.
One third of appointments are now made online and also one third of repeat prescriptions are e-requests. The doctors say this results in huge resource savings as the practice has reduced the number of phone calls by 1000 a month.
From an average of 1500 emails a month across the practice in October 2017, half got some sort of advice, 7% were told to make an appointment, 7% were told to get a test done and 30% were given a prescription without having to see the doctor.
There is no transactional cost to patients for using the digital service, but Dr Moodie and Dr Lowe say it frees up precious 15-minute consultation spots for those who really need them. It also increases patient satisfaction and makes managing their workload and workflow more efficient.