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Use of a primary care online consultation system, by whom, when and why: evaluation of a pilot observational study in 36 general practices in South West England
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  • Published on:
    A study of eCONsult, not of online consultations in general

    This study of 36 practices used a particular system, eCONsult, cannot be taken as indicative of online consultations in general. It is all about how the system works, both the software and within the operational system of the practice.
    The average of 0.9 per practice per day is clearly too low to have significant impact, and that was probably to increase costs.
    One of the practices involved, Concord Medical Practice, changed to askmyGP the following year and increased its uptake by a factor of 15 to around 60 per day (reported at SAPC, July 2017). Others have a similar level. Then the wider impact becomes measurable. Independent study is urgently needed as a £45m fund has been created to fund this technology, while published evidence says it will be wasted.

    Conflict of Interest:
    Chief Executive of GP Access Ltd, which owns askmyGP, a competitor to eCONsult, with a growing evidence base from over 21,000 patient episodes online.