Digital access in primary care

Graphic of a finger pointing at a touchscreen with healthcare optionsThe recently announced long-term plan for the NHS is reliant on the sustained engagement of patients and their increased capability for self-management. To enable this, its assumed patients will use digital platforms to directly access their relevant health information. Our work is exploring the extent and impact of the current levels of digital access and how it might be optimised for the future benefits of patients, providers and the health service. 

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Theme lead
Dr Ian Litchfield

Research Fellow

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Aims of the research

The assumption made by policy makers and commissioners is that patient-facing digital technology will play a major role in reducing unnecessary contact with clinicians and sustain and improve primary care. This will be enabled by patients using an array of digital tools and platforms to remotely connect with clinical and peer support and independently track the progress of their condition.

The case is compelling yet take-up by patients and primary care organisations is inconsistent and our work is throwing much needed light on,   

  • The factors affecting the implementation and uptake of digital technologies
  • The way in which health data is presented to patients
  • The benefits of digital technologies to patients and providers
  • The impact of digital platforms on service utilisation

Meet the team

Dr Ian Litchfield - Research Fellow, Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Professor Sheila Greenfield - Professor of Medical Sociology, Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences

Publications

Adaption, implementation and evaluation of collaborative service improvements in the testing and result communication process in primary care from patient and staff perspectives: a qualitative study Litchfield IJ, Bentham, LM, Lilford RJ, McManus RJ, Hill A, Greenfield S BMC Health Services Research 2017 Aug 30;17(1):615

Patient perspectives on test result communication in primary care: a qualitative study Litchfield IJ, Bentham L, Lilford RJ, Greenfield S.   Br J Gen Pract 2015;March;65(632)118 

Routine failures in the process for blood testing and the communication of results to patients in primary care: a qualitative exploration of patient and provider perspectives. Litchfield IJ, Bentham L, Hill A, Lilford RJ, McManus R, Greenfield S. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015 Nov;24(11):681-90.

Test result communication in primary care – a survey of current practice. Litchfield IJ, Bentham L, Lilford RJ, Hill A, McManus R Greenfield S. BMJ Qual Saf. 2015 Nov;24(11):691-9.

Patient perspectives on test result communication in primary care: a qualitative study Litchfield IJ, Bentham L, Hill A, Lilford RJ, McManus R, Greenfield S. Br J Gen Pract 2015;March;65(632)118

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