Primary care has faced long-standing access challenges in the UK National Health Service (NHS) due to an increased demand on services caused by an ageing population, inadequate funding, a shortage of General Practitioners (GPs) and GP trainees and inefficient administrative processes. The pandemic accelerated digital adoption in primary care as policy and reimbursement changes led to new ways of working including telephone triage, video consultations, remote monitoring, online consultations, and text and email communication between clinicians and patients. The agenda has moved to how innovation teams lead digital transformation to drive long term and sustainable benefits in primary care. The digital front door is defined as the channels and framework through which patients access network-wide services in a digitally enabled system. Pillars to this front door include navigation, triage, increased electronic health record (EHR) functionality, shared care records with interoperability, a skilled workforce, key stakeholder engagement and digital inclusion. Out of hospital care has become an integrated community of health, wellness and social care providers. Primary care organisations are presented with a unique opportunity to redesign their access points, to re-evaluate how to navigate and triage users most effectively through their systems, to leverage health data and analytics to derive more insights from the EHR than ever before, and to build a skilled workforce that meets the evolving needs of the community as we move towards a more equitable health system.
- Primary Healthcare
- Delivery of Health Care
- Health Care Quality, Access, and Evaluation
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Contributors This article was written by NR. There were no contributing authors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests GP Partner at Station Road Surgery, Frimley, Advisor to the Digital Front Door Workstream for the Frimley ICS, Independent Investor and Advisor in Digital Health, Shareholder in Memora Health, Member of the Palantir Health Advisory Panel.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.