Patient portals are secure online sites, provided by GPs, where patients can access their health information and interact with their general practice. From 1 October to 31 December 2020, there was a 5.5% increase in patients registering to use patient portals, a 20% increase in practices offering patients access to clinical notes, and 267 practices reported 183,900 appointments were booked online.
Patient portals and COVID-19
The Ministry encourages practices to implement portals and offer patients portal services that will be of value as we respond to COVID-19. Effective services include the ability for patients to see their list of medications and request repeat prescriptions; book appointments online, including video conferences where possible; see their lab results; see their immunisation and vaccination history; send and receive secure messages to and from their GP or a practice nurse; and to see their GP's clinical notes.
Use of Cloudcheck to verify identity
Find out about the Cloudcheck service that some PHO's and GP practices around New Zealand are using to verify their patients' identity online.
Patient portals give people convenient and secure electronic access to their health information, increasing their ability to manage their own health care
Portals can allow patients to:
- request repeat prescriptions
- book appointments
- see their lab results
- see their GP's clinical notes
- see their current diagnosis
- see a list of their medical conditions
- see a list of the medications they are on
- see their immunisation and vaccination history
- receive reminders and recalls from the practice team
- send and receive secure messages to and from their GP or a practice nurse.
The Ministry encourages general practices to give patients access to their clinical notes and has worked with eHealth News to create articles that promote the benefits open notes can deliver for patients and GPs:
- The Ministry is working with primary health organisations (PHOs) and general practices to ensure they are able to provide patients with a portal.
- Eight eHealth Ambassadors support GPs through the process of implementing a patient portal.
Growth in use of patient portals
Patient Portal uptake - December 2020
- Patient portals: Practical guidelines for implementation (pdf, 597 KB)
- Health Care Online - Start-up guide for general practice (Compass Health) (pdf, 3.6 MB)
- Child and Adolescent Health: Patient Portals, Health Information and Disclosure. (Membership login required for access to The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners' website.)