If you’re one of those people who lament the loss of the good ol’ pen and paper to the rise of the mighty laptop and tablet, you might want to stop reading here! Since July, GPs have begun using electronic fit notes, as promised by the government way back in April 2010 when the fit note was introduced to replace the traditional sick note.
The new electronic form will still look the same as the old handwritten version and will contain the same information. However, managers up and down the country will be breathing a sigh of relief since they no longer require a degree in forensic graphology to decode the doctor’s scrawl (sorry docs, some of you really do have appalling handwriting!).
The new system does offer other advantages- such as the ability to scan a digital barcode to check that the note matches the original issued by the GP. The barcode will contain coded information which cannot be altered once issued by the doctor.
It is anticipated that the system will be rolled out to all GP practices by 2013.