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Evaluation of patient access to medical test result services in General Practice

StatusActive
Period16/04/1816/04/20

Description

Patients are increasingly being offered the opportunity to access their
medical test results electronically through online access. This could
benefit both patients and GP practices, by patients being able to access
the information they want more quickly and reducing appointments for
practices. However, it could also cause problems, if for example patients
are anxious about receiving results at home or are unclear what they
should do with their results. More evidence is required to fully understand
what the benefits and problems could be for patients and practices. Our
research will find out what kinds of electronic access to medical records
patients are currently being offered by practices and how the practice and
patients are finding using these systems. We will also consider how types
of benefit and economic cost are affected by providing electronic services
and generate a framework so that cost effectiveness can be assessed in
the future.
We will develop a questionnaire and send this to some of the GP practices
in England to ask them what electronic access to medical test results they
are currently offering patients (for example, online results, text messaging
etc.). We will also ask for patient records (the patients will remain
anonymous) from some practices to find out if those patients who choose
to access their medical test results electronically differ from patients who
do not. We will look at several factors including age, gender, what health
conditions they have, and their social background. Then we will ask
patients and staff who work in GP practices their views about electronic
access of results for patients. We will ask them to tell us about their
experience and opinions of using the electronic access (or not) offered by
their practice. We will also ask them what is helpful, and what is not
helpful, when using electronic access. Finally, we will bring together all the
information to develop a guide which could be used to work out whether
electronic access is cost-effective. Our results will be useful for policy
makers and GP practices thinking about offering electronic services to
patients and will help them to offer the access in the most effective way
possible for the practice and their patients.

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