Largest study on IT in healthcare kicks off

21 Apr 2005

What has been described as the largest national consultation process on primary care computerisation ever undertaken in the healthcare sector is to be conducted by Medicom Solutions over the next 18 months.

The consultation process is designed to evaluate the current role played by technology in general practitioners’ (GP) work and to provide them with the opportunity to give input to and help design the next version of Medicom’s practice management system. The consultation process will be carried out by a recently appointed expert group, which comprises a diverse range of Medicom users with backgrounds in primary care and health administration.

Some 60pc of IT-enabled GPs in Ireland use Medicom’s technology. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure the next version of the company’s Dynamic GP technology meets the growing needs of GPs in practices throughout the country.

The expert group that will manage the process includes four practising GPs: Dr Ciarán Kelly in Donegal, Dr Sean O’Brien in Celbridge, Dr John Cox in Wexford and Dr Donal Buckley in Dublin.

Medicom has also requested input from Healthlink and the Primary Care Managers Group of the Health Services Executive in terms of the future strategic direction of messaging and primary care. Its main objective over the next 18 months will be to capture input and feedback from as many GPs as possible so that an all-encompassing computer system for primary care professionals can be developed.

“This is truly an outstanding opportunity for GPs to help shape and influence the future direction of primary care computerisation and ensure the GP population is in the driving seat in terms of the development of the system we use in our day-to-day work. The end result of this process will not only see the next-generation practice management system designed by GPs for GPs but it will also paint a picture of the growing role technology plays in our primary care health system,” said Kelly, non-executive medical director at Medicom who will chair the group.

“The time saving and administrative efficiency benefits of technology in the practice are understood by all GPs but it is only now that the true potential of what technology can do to help improve the patient and doctor experience is being understood. Through the upcoming consultation process we plan to encourage GPs to consider what they would like technology to do for them now and also to consider what they might like it to help them do in ten or twenty years time,” said Kelly.

By John Kennedy