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Free Content From troglodytes to information managers: information management and technology needs to achieve the primary care NHS modernization agenda—the views of three GPs

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In response to the information management and technology changes proposed by the Government’s NHS modernization initiative this article examines the issues that GPs feel to be of major significance to their work.

Although information and communications technology is widely used in general practice there is no one agreed standard system. The level of technology and the manner in which it is used is also diverse throughout the profession, as are the attitudes that exist amongst GPs regarding the value of information management and technology, and the benefits efficient information management offers to them and to their patients.

The views of three local GPs from practices with varying levels of information technology were obtained through semi-structured interviews and the findings developed in the light of current discussions in the published literature. The GPs chosen reflect the disparity within general practice and, perhaps, other units of the NHS in the use and understanding of information management.

The main conclusions were that there is ambivalence and scepticism about what NHSnet currently has to offer; that local electronic records benefit patient care, but when networked more widely problems of confidentiality and security result. Practitioners were also mindful of the financial costs of changes and concerned, given the impact of PCGs and clinical governance, as to who will be responsible for ensuring a common level of electronic records, IT provision, and financial and technological support.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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