Patient portal uptake nears 250,000 milestone
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says nearly 250,000 New Zealanders are now using a patient portal to access their health information.
“Patient portals enable patients to manage aspects of their own healthcare such as booking appointments, requesting repeat prescriptions and messaging clinical staff directly,” says Dr Coleman.
“It’s great to see the number of patient portal users significantly increase from around 175,000 in June 2016 to over 241,300 in September 2016 – a 38 per cent increase in just over three months.
“The number of practices offering a portal service has also increased over this period from 335 to 423 - a rise of 27 per cent.
“Compared with September 2015, the number of portal users increased by around 160 per cent, and practices offering portals increased by 56 per cent.”
“Patients can now access their personal health information whenever they need it. They no longer have to call the practice to get their test results, book appointments or if they have a simple question – they can now do these through the patient portal.
“The portal service is also well-received by practice teams as it frees up their time from doing administration work, enabling clinicians to spend more time with patients.”
Last year, a $3 million funding boost gave more New Zealanders access to patient portals, this included $500,000 for an awareness campaign.
An interactive map was launched earlier in May to make it easier for patients to check which general practices are offering portals.
For more information on patient portals and to check if your practice offers a portal service visit: www.patientportals.co.nz