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Issues and trends in computerisation within UK primary health care

Pemberton, Jon and Buehring, Anna and Stonehouse, George and Simpson, Louise and Purves, Ian (2003) Issues and trends in computerisation within UK primary health care. ISSN 0957-6053

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This paper charts the technological developments that have taken place within primary health care during the last 20 years, drawing upon previous research and presenting new survey findings on the current state of computerisation. The survey reveals that 96 per cent of UK practices use a clinical computer system, with repeat and acute prescribing, the collation of annual data and audits/searches being the most well used applications. The move towards the so-called “paperless” practice is strongly related to GPs’ computing expertise, with larger practices more likely to have gone in this direction. Over half of GP practices now have access to the Internet. Improvement of computing skills appears a major determinant of successful integration of technology within a practice. There is a need to develop a social architecture and learning environment that allows GPs to provide good quality health care with clinical computer systems at its heart.

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