A review of 176 studies has found that giving people access to their general practice electronic health records and other linked online services was associated with improved satisfaction and self-care amongst other benefits to patients.
The review found that it was also related to better communication and engagement with clinicans, more patient identification of medication issues and greater use of preventive services. The impact for clinicians included a moderate increase in e-mail, no change in telephone contact and variable effects on face-to-face contact. Other tasks were also needed to sustain these services which impacted on clinician time. There were variations in record access and use by specific ethnic and socioeconomic groups.