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Patients prefer to be emailed their test results, study finds

By Nigel Praities

The majority of patients are happy to be informed about the results of blood tests by email rather than having to make an appointment at their GP practice, according to a new study by medical students.

Researchers interviewed 200 patients at two GP practices in Lothian, Scotland, and found 53% said they preferred practices to send their test results by email.

Patients were less happy about being contacted through other technological mediums, with 38% saying they wanted to be contacted by SMS and 33% by a webpage – mainly due to concerns over information security.

James Grayston, lead author and a medical student at the University of Edinburgh, said informing patients of results took up a ‘considerable proportion' of practice-staff time.

‘New technologies may be more time-efficient for staff but little is known about the acceptability to patients.

‘The main concern over the three technologies was information security. New technology may be useful for delivering results but patients will have to be persuaded that any such system is reliable and secure,' he said.

The study was published online this month by Primary Health Care Research & Development.

A majority of patients are happy to be emailed their test results, researchers found A majority of patients are happy to be emailed their test results, researchers found

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