Why are GP online services important?

Digital technology has the power to change the relationship between patients and their GP practices in the same way that it has changed our relationships in other areas of life, such as managing our finances or shopping.

Patients have been telling us that they want to be offered more choice and control in how they access GP services. Increasingly, they also want to be informed and involved in decisions about their own care and treatment.

The evidence for the benefits of online interactions between patients and their GP practices continues to grow. Sources for this include the evidence review underpinning the Department of Health’s information strategy, The Power of Information (May 2012). Further evidence will be gathered from across the country, including from the Patient Online accelerator sites.

Most importantly, the evidence shows that patients who are informed and involved in their own care have better outcomes. There are also efficiency gains for GPs and their practices.