Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the number of people signing up for a patient portal at their general practice has more than doubled over the last year.
“Patient portals are convenient, secure and real time savers for both patients and general practice staff,” says Dr Coleman.
“Portals enable patients to access their personal health information whenever they need it. Patients can book appointments, request repeat prescriptions, and message staff securely from their laptop or smartphone.
“Uptake continues to go well. There were 233,839 registrations between June 2016 and June this year, taking the total patient portal users to 407,049.
“This means over 400,000 New Zealanders are now able to access to their own health information and play a greater part in managing their own health and wellbeing.
“GP practice staff are also embracing patient portals because it saves time on administrative tasks, creates efficiencies, and gives them more time with patients. Staff have said it's easy to use and gives patients a lot more control over their healthcare.
“Nearly half of all general practices now offer patient portals, with 471 general practices offering the service, up from 335 in June 2016.
“Patient portal registrations are encouraging, but we’d like to see even more practices putting portals in place and people signing up for them.
“They make things easier for everyone, whether you’re a patient, clinician or practice administrator.”
In 2015 a $3 million funding boost from the Government gave more New Zealanders access to patient portals, this included $500,000 for an awareness campaign.
An interactive map was launched online last year to make it easier for patients to check which general practices offer portals. For more information go to: www.patientportals.co.nz