Though the electronic Med3 is to be rolled out across all GP systems in due course, it seems that EMIS was one of the first systems chosen for it. The add-on is simple to use and intuitive and well designed. One keystroke brings up the menu and the first decision is whether the patient is fit or unfit for any work.
Say you choose ‘unfit’, then all you need do is type the diagnosis or information into the relevant box. Then choose a period of sickness or a number of days, weeks or months (there is even an ‘indefinite’ tick box). Last, click the print button and out comes the certificate, reverse printed on a sheet of A4.
If a patient is fit but needs altered hours, workplace adaptation or some other category of help, this is also a tick box exercise with room for free text in a box below. Everything entered is printed out on the certificate.
So what is so wonderful?
- All details are recorded in the records including the diagnosis duration and conditions of return to work.
- A copy of the certificate is kept as a PDF file.
- Everything is printed out in legible type, making it easy for employee and employer to read
- It makes further sickness reports or insurance claims more simple as everyone at the practice has a patient’s previous Med3 files on the system.
- Subsequent doctors can view your Med 3 entry which reduces the risk of doctors being played off against each other by patients.
- No more scrabbling around for packs of paper certificates, which also helps locums who might be new to the consulting room and unsure where to find the forms.
During a time of mounting paperwork, GPs might find using the electronic forms for the Med3 more convenient.
Dr Mike Ingram is a GP in Radlett, Hertfordshire.