Online consultations (also known as econsultations or econsults) enable patients to seek help from their GP practice more easily, and the practice to respond more efficiently. Changing the channel of communication brings convenience for patients, and a reduction in workload for GPs which in turn cuts the wait for patients.
- Patients can seek help at any time, anywhere
- Patients can use any internet connected device
- Any patient, parent or carer can seek help, any problem
- Information is sent securely from patient to GP via N3
- The GP practice sees requests on a secure portal
- Reception staff identify the patient and assign to a clinician
- The GP decides how to help the patient
- Patients are contacted directly by phone, or given an appointment
- Feedback is collected from both patients and staff
- Performance is measured automatically and reported to users
- Patients get help faster (80% same day), can choose GP
- No need for patients to wait for an answered telephone
- Clinically useful information is gathered from the patient before consultation
- Reception staff have better information to act as care navigators
- Data from 45,000 episodes show 60-70% are completed remotely
- GPs only see those patients they need to, saving time
- Patient demands can be routed appropriately to the right clinician
- DNAs (Did Not Attends) drop by typically 80%
- The whole primary care team is involved in the change
- The burden of overwork is lifted from GPs
£0.25 to £1.90 per person per year
GP Access Ltd
|Software add-on or extension||No|
|Cloud deployment model||Public cloud|
Patients can access on any internet connected device.
GP practice staff can access the portal only on a secure NHS compliant network (N3)
|Email or online ticketing support||Email or online ticketing|
|Support response times||Typical email response is within 60 minutes in working hours.|
|User can manage status and priority of support tickets||No|
|Phone support availability||9 to 5 (UK time), Monday to Friday|
|Web chat support||No|
|Onsite support||Yes, at extra cost|
|Support levels||Usually remote training is adequate. We can run training on site or for maximum benefit a 12 week intervention with intensive support.|
|Support available to third parties||No|
Onboarding and offboarding
We provide comprehensive training for users through a person to person online meeting (our trainer and each practice administrator), coupled with video training for all users to undertake in their own time.
We remotely configure links for patients to access help from their own GP practice and set these up on the practice website, if they wish.
|End-of-contract data extraction||There is no need to extract data at the end of contract, as all data is transferred from the system to the customer in the normal course of business, day by day. If any remains, it is transferred by the normal route (portal in the GP practice) after the patient facing service is removed, within a 30 day period (or less if completed)|
|End-of-contract process||No extra charges apply: the practice is informed in writing that the contract ends with 28 days notice. On the end date, the askmyGP link in the practice website becomes inactive and a notice informs patients that the service is inactive. The GP practice then removes the link from the website and no longer needs to access the portal. 30 days after contract end the portal becomes inactive.|
Using the service
|Web browser interface||Yes|
|Application to install||No|
|Designed for use on mobile devices||Yes|
|Differences between the mobile and desktop service||
Patients may use a mobile device (52% do so), tablet or PC.
GP practice staff would normally use a PC. There is no restriction on using smaller devices, if they have the correct network security, but this is not usually advised.
|Accessibility standards||None or don’t know|
|Description of accessibility||Interaction is text based, and designed to be responsive on all platforms. Data shows that 52% of usage is from smartphones, 39% from PCs and 9% from tablets.|
|Accessibility testing||Formal testing has been with standard devices.|
|Description of customisation||The GP practice can customise the questions asked to patients. They can set messages and hours of operation specific to the practice. They list clinicians at the practice, and can indicate in real time whether each one is available or not, to allow patients to choose if they wish. Customisation would normally be done by an admin person.|
|Independence of resources||Our hosting providers offer scalable options so we purchase capacity in line with user volumes. Note that scaling is around peak hour usage (8-9am, Mondays), not average usage.|
|Service usage metrics||Yes|
Patient demand, runcharts by month/day/week.
Hourly demand pattern
User demographics by age/sex
Clinical symptoms entered, histogram
Patient feedback analysis
Staff feedback analysis
|Supplier type||Not a reseller|
|Staff security clearance||Staff screening not performed|
|Government security clearance||None|
|Knowledge of data storage and processing locations||Yes|
|Data storage and processing locations||United Kingdom|
|User control over data storage and processing locations||No|
|Datacentre security standards||Complies with a recognised standard (for example CSA CCM version 3.0)|
|Penetration testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Penetration testing approach||Another external penetration testing organisation|
|Protecting data at rest||Physical access control, complying with SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402|
|Data sanitisation process||Yes|
|Data sanitisation type||Deleted data can’t be directly accessed|
|Equipment disposal approach||In-house destruction process|
Data importing and exporting
|Data export approach||Each time a patient uses the askmyGP service, an episode is created. The data concerning the episode is copied into the practice clinical system every time, so that data export in bulk is not required.|
|Data export formats||CSV|
|Data import formats||Other|
|Other data import formats||Text, all that is needed as input by the patient.|
|Data protection between buyer and supplier networks||Private network or public sector network|
|Data protection within supplier network||Other|
|Other protection within supplier network||All communications and data storage are within N3.|
Availability and resilience
|Guaranteed availability||The service level guarantee is 99.99%. Users are refunded pro rata for any full day when service is unavailable through the supplier's fault. This has never been necessary.|
|Approach to resilience||
Our hosting is with an industry leading N3 supplier (Xicon Ltd).
More details are available on request.
|Outage reporting||Email alerts report any outage of more than 2 hours.|
Identity and authentication
|User authentication needed||Yes|
|Access restrictions in management interfaces and support channels||
Users must create a login and password (validated 8 char minimum, lowercase, uppercase and numeric).
Access is controlled to be within N3.
|Access restriction testing frequency||At least once a year|
|Management access authentication||
Audit information for users
|Access to user activity audit information||Users receive audit information on a regular basis|
|How long user audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|Access to supplier activity audit information||Users contact the support team to get audit information|
|How long supplier audit data is stored for||At least 12 months|
|How long system logs are stored for||At least 12 months|
Standards and certifications
|ISO/IEC 27001 certification||No|
|ISO 28000:2007 certification||No|
|CSA STAR certification||No|
|Other security accreditations||Yes|
|Any other security accreditations||
|Named board-level person responsible for service security||Yes|
|Security governance accreditation||Yes|
|Security governance standards||Other|
|Other security governance standards||NHS IG Toolkit, organisation code 8JH09, completed and satisfactory.|
|Information security policies and processes||
The IG Lead Connie Lord reports directly to Chief Executive Harry Longman and ensures that the policies listed below are complete, up to date, accessible via the private website pages to all staff, and that new staff are trained in their application.
GP Access Information Security Policy
GP Access IG and You Guideline
GP Access – Mobile Computing and Teleworking Policy & Guideline
GP Access Incident Management
GP Access – IG Improvement Plan
GP Access Network Security Policy
GP Access data flow mapping plan
GP Access Data Flow Mapping Report
GP Access Managing change which involves personal data – Procedure
GP Access Confidentiality Monitoring and Audit Procedure
GP access PIA Procedure
|Configuration and change management standard||Conforms to a recognised standard, for example CSA CCM v3.0 or SSAE-16 / ISAE 3402|
|Configuration and change management approach||Our software is designed and managed in accordance with ISB 0129 for the safety of clinical systems. The process is managed by Dr Adrian Stavert Dobson our Clinical Safety Officer. He wrote the Hazard Register and Safety Case and involves the management and development teams, along with feedback from users, in actively maintaining these documents and processess.|
|Vulnerability management type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Vulnerability management approach||
Our lead developer John Beasley runs the Acunetix vulnerability test suite on all new versions of the askmyGP software and has managed all risks to below Critical and Major levels.
Any change in threat level we address immediately, normally same day, and as the software is hosted it can be simply updated in one instance after regression testing the new version.
In addition to Acunetix, we solicit feedback directly from users with a simple webform, submissions from which are emailed to the lead developer, CSO and Chief Executive.
|Protective monitoring type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Protective monitoring approach||
Every authorised user has an admin webpage with a feedback form. This can be sent at any time, highlighting a problem (or suggestion) and is normally responded to within 60 minutes during working hours. A telephone number is also provided, operating office hours with an alert process to the operations manager and chief executive.
Escalation can be carried out within 60 minutes to the hosting provider if necessary. In addition, daily reporting highlights unusual conditions.
|Incident management type||Supplier-defined controls|
|Incident management approach||
Users can report from their admin page via online form or phone. Within 60 minutes a test is run to verify the problem, and appropriate action is then taken to alert that part of the system which has failed.
Where the loss is practice access to the system, as soon as possible and within 60 minutes at most tests are run to establish the cause, and then if necessary an email alert is sent to all users if it cannot be fixed within 2 hours. Reports are recorded and documented within 48 hours.
|Approach to secure software development best practice||Independent review of processes (for example CESG CPA Build Standard, ISO/IEC 27034, ISO/IEC 27001 or CSA CCM v3.0)|
Public sector networks
|Connection to public sector networks||Yes|
|Connected networks||New NHS Network (N3)|
|Price||£0.25 to £1.90 per person per year|
|Discount for educational organisations||No|
|Free trial available||No|
|Pricing document||View uploaded document|
|Service definition document||View uploaded document|
|Terms and conditions document||View uploaded document|