All encounters involving patients, whether direct or indirect, must be recorded. General practices have well established and robust IT systems often with fully integrated Windows-based systems, including access to full electronic medical records. Development of paperless medical records has become pivotal in enabling practices to comply with a number of IT-related requirements, including the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF). In addition, based on the Government’s commitment to provide all NHS patients with online access to their record, as well as other services including electronic booking, cancelling appointments and ordering repeat prescriptions, practices need advanced IT skills and systems.

The effects of Coronavirus (Covid-19) have been profound on all aspects of general practice and necessitated new ways of working with the NHS rapidly upscaling the use of virtual consultations, total triage systems and remote working, making paperless systems even more important.

In order to work successfully towards becoming paperless, or at least paper-light, employers should clarify the practice expectations, set standards and provide essential tools and training. This topic provides information, tools and guidance towards that aim.

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