Going paperless is no simple task

Gibson, Mark
June 2003
GP: General Practitioner;6/9/2003, p52
Compulsory computerisation as part of the new general medical services contract reflects changing political agendas and objectives in the modernisation of GP premises and working cultures. The government has promised a funding boost of 33 per cent throughout the NHS, and technology investment has become a focal point of this. A paperless practice is a good practice, or at least that appears to have become the received wisdom among GP IT enthusiasts. If this is so, then not many practices can be seen as good, because not everything in general practice is computerised. While they often have registration links, pathology and hospital links, electronic appointments, immunisation and acute prescribing, patient records and decision support, there are still activities that remain paper intensive. Repeated research has demonstrated that many GPs continue to use the Lloyd George envelopes and A4 paper records alongside electronic patient records. If the computer is only being used for limited purposes, then computer acceptance in the consulting room may have to be rethought as a strategy on a governmental and a local PCT level.


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