Project looks at ways to ensure safe emailing around health and social care
PRSB study finds that £100m could be saved if emailing was widely adopted and replacing faxing
The PRSB has published guidance from our project looking into ways to ensure safe, confidential and effective emailing between patients and healthcare professionals. The guidance, created and backed by key organisations representing care professionals and patients, reflects PRSB findings from our project that nine out of 10 people want this electronic option to be more widely available. It builds on existing email practice to ensure that safety, confidentiality and effectiveness are maximised for patients and professionals, allowing a real alternative to letters and faxes that currently cost the NHS more than £100m a year.
Our study finds that the savings are likely to be considerably more if email replaced fax and posted letters as first choice for communications with patients and between care professionals. However, in many parts of the NHS, Social Services and the general public, there is underlying concern around the use of email on the grounds of data security and privacy. Also, many clinicians fear their workload will increase if they have to use email.