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by Our GP partner in practice
9 February 2009

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Nevermind the slow computer speed – this is IT nirvana

So far, this year has been an exciting journey into new technology.

Actually, I should probably temper my language, since it takes at least 20 minutes for me to log on each morning. In fact, I now set my alarm 10 minutes earlier just so I can be fully operational (if I’m ever fully operational) at the surgery for 8.30am.

First, I log into our system. Then I open our letter management system, followed by our digital dictation facility. Then I put in my Choose and Book card. At that point I realise the order of logging in was wrong, and I have to log out and reload.

At the end of the day, I usually start closing down at 5pm, for a 6.30pm departure. Some suggest that I appear to close down earlier, but beneath those sagging eyelids is a functional GP until 6.30pm.

Our surgery is new to Choose and Book, yet we managed to register as one of the top 10 surgeries in England using it. I wasn’t sure whether this was good or bad. Does that mean we make too many referrals, or does it mean we are referring effectively? I prefer to think that I’m working at the edge of an IT nirvana.

The weather has been atrocious but still they came (there’s an echo of War of the Worlds in that sentence). My extended hours surgery seemed to act as a challenge to patients and spur them on. There were no defaulters – even the 7.20pm slot was filled! I managed to skid home, fondly reminiscing about the extended hours surgery as I crawled up the hill to our house!

Last weekend I attended the annual trainers’ workshop. All the GPs who attended were paid for their attendance. This seems wrong! Most allied health professionals would have to pay to attend such a course.

I don’t want to protest too much – it would be foolish to look a gift horse in the mouth. In fact, I must confess I filled in my claim form quickly after the gasp from the audience indicated the organisers had overlooked the fact that we have to attend, and we all worried that they would change their minds!

One noble GP suggested that a proportion of our course earnings should be donated to a worthy cause. There was another shocked gasp, followed by a round of applause for this proposal, as we all realised that the gasp was inappropriate. I wonder how many will donate the fee? Apathy and cynicism are in good measure at the moment.

Next week I’m off on annual leave. Apparently Woolworths has been resurrected online and I need a new ironing board cover. I know where I’ll be logging on next week!