Online consultation provider integrated into the NHS app

The online triage provider eConsult is now integrated with the NHS app.

Patients whose GP practices use eConsult can use the NHS app to ‘Seek advice from your GP’ and are invited to answer clinically validated eConsult questions. This allows the general practitioner to decide on the best way to counsel the patient. Whenever possible, the online consultation will be forwarded to the patient’s usual general practitioner or a member of the team who will then respond.

The integration of eConsult into the NHS app allows the patient to access online consultations to get help from their GP, allowing their doctor to undertake an initial triage while the patient answers the same questions that his doctor would ask him. This saves you time while waiting for an appointment or going to your GP. Once their online consultation has been submitted, their GP will follow up with either an email, phone call, or video consultation, or a face-to-face appointment with necessary treatments and results.

EConsult CEO Dr Murray Ellender said: ‘As COVID-19 continues to keep us in detention, we want to make sure everyone in England receives the best possible medical care. The integration of eConsult with the NHS app allows people over 13, regardless of ability level, to easily access important medical advice when they need it. This is vital for eConsult patients during COVID-19, as people are more reluctant to see a doctor for other illnesses due to fear of catching the coronavirus. As people use healthcare apps to seek medical advice more frequently than ever before, this integration between providers is a step in the right direction for efficiency between patients and physicians.

By enabling GPs to prioritize and treat patients online, eConsult is helping GP practices reduce the number of people who physically see their GP, which has become essential due to the risk of contracting COVID-19 . Before the crisis, around 70-90% of primary care patients were seen face-to-face, now that number is matched by digitally resolved consultations. National figures show that 70-75% of patients do not need an in-person consultation after digital triage. Some eConsult users have reported that over 90% of patients are now being treated remotely.

eConsult has worked closely with the NHS App project team to integrate eConsult into the app and is constantly updating and re-evaluating these functions to ensure patients receive the most efficient service. It is currently available in around a quarter of general practitioner practices in England.

Ian Phoenix, Director of Citizen Health Technology for NHS Digital, said: “The NHS app is one of many tools that allow patients to access NHS services digitally. People can order repeat prescriptions, manage appointments, check symptoms and consult their general medical records safely.