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Practice workloads increase more than 10%, e-consultation finds

Trialling the use of online consultation systems in monitoring and improving general practice workloads

Trialling the use of online consultation systems in monitoring and improving general practice workloads

General practice workloads have increased 16% over the past decade.

One solution to rising patient demand has been online consultation systems which are thought to help with timely access and efficiency for patients and professionals.

This mixed method evaluation investigated patient and staff views, experiences and acceptability of a pilot e-consultation system in 36 south west England practices.

Interviews, surveys and analysis of anonymised patient records were conducted. An e-consultation was completed by 7,472 patients, most frequently on weekdays and during traditional working hours. There were different expectations between patients and staff in how to use the system ‘appropriately’. Some patients used it to try and save time for themselves and staff, but others used it when no face to face appointment was available. Most e-consultations

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