Di-Facto - Digital Facilitation in Primary Care - is a collaborative research project funded by the National Institute for Health Research to investigate the benefits and challenges associated with different models of digital facilitation currently in use in general practice in parts of Eastern England and North London, the South West, and the Midlands.
Due to growing pressure on health services in recent years, there has been an increase in the use of internet-based services in general practice (GP) surgeries. This includes the ability to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, as well as offering an alternative to face-to-face consultations via email and video. With a drive towards an increased provision of these services, it is important to understand any barriers to use and how they might be overcome, particularly in order to ensure fairness in the provision of healthcare to different groups of people. One way to ensure this is with digital facilitation; supporting NHS patients and carers in their use of online services.
The study aims to understand: how the use of internet-based services are advertised and supported in GP surgeries, and the benefits and challenges of different approaches used to support internet-based services for patients and staff