Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says patient portal usage continues to grow with over 297,000 New Zealanders now registered to use a portal.
“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.
“It’s great to see the number of patient portal users more than double over a nine month period last year - from 136,677 in March up to 297,255 in December 2016.
“56,000 people signed up to use a patient portal system in the last quarter - that's more than 4,000 new users a week. To date, 445 practices have introduced a patient portal service.
“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.”
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