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UK primary care top of the class in electronic use

15 November 2012

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UK primary care has come out top of the commonwealth countries in using health information technology.

The 2012 Commonwealth International Health Policy survey polled 8,500 primary care doctors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the US were polled in the report.

It was found more than two thirds of GPs in the UK said their practices had multi-functional capacity, allowing them to order prescriptions or diagnostic tests online, manage patient lists and generate patient information electronically.

The majority of UK GPs surveyed (97%) also said they use electronic medical records.

“I am pleased that our GPs are doing very well when it comes to using electronic medical records and enabling patients to make appointments online,” said Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

“I have set out in the NHS Mandate that I want all patients by 2015 to be able to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and talk to GP practices online. This will help people better manage their health and care.”

When compared to the other countries surveyed, the UK topped the list for providing after hours care for patients and for reporting that their practices used nurse case managers.

UK GPs also reported the highest rates when it came to feedback on their performance with 84% saying that they receive and review data on clinical outcomes.

Despite the health reforms and pension tensions, UK doctors also found themselves in the top three for being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” practicing medicine.