GP practices report that receiving records via GP2GP saves time on the first consultation and time spent summarising records, according to GP2GP benefits survey developed as part of the national SHA benefits return.

CfH conducted two surveys earlier this year covering the clinical and administrative benefits of the GP2GP project which enables the almost instant transfer of patients’ electronic record between practices.

The survey of 384 clinicians from 357 GP practices representing 7% of all live practices found that more than 70% reported that the first consultation takes less time with the electronic health record (EHR) and 30% estimated time savings on the first consultation of between five and ten minutes.

In addition 92% of clinicians agreed or agreed strongly that the presence of the EHR helped inform clinical decision making about medication and 96% said having information about allergies and adverse drug reactions available improved patient safety.

A survey of the administrative benefits covering 781 staff from 745 different practices representing 14% of live practices found that 60% reported time savings of between ten and 30 minutes on summarising patient records. Staff reported that paper records took between two and six weeks to arrive at the practice.

Jill Hepworth, CfH’s programme manager for GP2GP, told EHI Primary Care that the survey was based on the benefits registers and business case for GP2GP and was developed in collaboration with three strategic health authorities – NHS North East, NHS North West and NHS South Central.

She said: “We were very pleased with the results which showed that GP2GP was achieving more benefits than we had actually originally envisaged.”

The project currently covers records from GP practices using EMIS LV and INPS Vision systems but iSoft’s Synergy system is expected to begin live testing in the New Year and other suppliers are also expected to join the project in 2010/11.

A total of 5202 GP practices are now live with GP2GP covering 62% of practices in England and more than 90% of eligible practices in all SHAs. A total of 892,919 transfers had been made by 20 November.

 More details and analysis of the G2GP benefits survey will appear on EHI Primary Care in the new year.