What is GP2GP?

GP2GP is an approach to safe and secure electronic transfer of the full patient record between different practice management systems (PMS) when patients move between general practices.

It was developed with the overarching goal to reduce any potential loss of clinical information when patients change general practice, along with the reducing administrative burden that existed before an electronic solution existed.

GP2GP went live in 2011. Several hundred thousand records are transferred annually using GP2GP.

GP2GP was designed to transfer:

  • clinical notes
  • problem lists
  • medications
  • allergies
  • lab results
  • discharge letters
  • recall tasks
  • limited demographic information.

Accounting and appointment information is not included in the transfer.

GP2GP was not designed for multiple patients or migration of a whole practice between PMS vendors, however no alternative solution currently exists for these tasks.

Who manages GP2GP?

GP2GP was developed by an organisation called Patients First, in collaboration with PMS vendors and supported by secure messaging provider HealthLink. General Practice New Zealand (GPNZ) was the parent company of Patients First.

Control of GP2GP was transitioned to Manatū Hauora in 2021. During the health reforms, responsibility for GP2GP was then transferred from Manatū Hauora to Health New Zealand - Te Whatu Ora.

As part of the transition to Health NZ, management and support of the service has been incorporated into the Sector Digital Channels Integration team. This team will provide the maintenance and operational support that GP2GP has lacked since the transition from Patients First in 2021.

How are problems with GP2GP being addressed?

GP2GP hasn’t kept pace with changing technology and providers’ requirements. In the current state GP2GP is not performing resulting in:  

  • slow transfer and/or incomplete patient records, creating clinical risk.
  • practices bearing high time and cost burden from attempting to action a variety of workarounds.

There are challenges in transferring patient records, both individual record transfer as a result of change in patient enrolment, and the bulk transfer of records in the event of a change in Practice Management System, or the merger or de-merger of a general practice. We need a more modern way to transfer information when a patient moves between practices and for all-of-practice migration.

In February 2024 GPNZ raised concerns regarding the increasing clinical risk associated with transferring patient records via GP2GP to Manatū Hauora and Health NZ. This was very well received with Health NZ committing to working in partnership with the sector on short-term tactical solutions to mitigate risks.

Short term solutions include looking at ways to improve use of the existing technology, such as improved processes and training, and at ways to fix components of the existing system. A support desk will also be established to minimize the burden of troubleshooting GP2GP issues being experienced by practices.

In the longer term, it is expected that GP2GP will be replaced with a more modern and fit-for-purpose solution. A standards-based API [application programming interface] approach, such as that being implemented by Hira, is expected to be the basis of patient record transfer in the future.

A working group has formed between Health NZ Data & Digital and GPNZ. It is essential this work is clinically led and informed by users of GP2GP. Health NZ and GPNZ are thankful to the clinicians and practice managers who are providing expert advice as part of the wider project team.