Medical conference to tackle IT for GPs

17 Oct 2005

The role of IT in the provision of primary healthcare is the subject of a new conference taking place later this week. The one-day event will also include a progress review on an extensive national survey on computerisation within the primary-care sector.

The inaugural Healthcare Informatics Conference takes place this Saturday, 22 October at the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, Co Kildare. Event organisers Medicom, a Dublin-based healthcare technology provider, said the day would be the largest gathering of primary healthcare providers to ever take place in Ireland. It hopes to provide a platform for discussing the emerging needs of practitioners and their patients.

The one-day conference will bring together primary healthcare professionals and stakeholders from across the sector to discuss the future direction and strategic development of primary-care computerisation.

Speakers include Damien McCallion, director of information systems, Health Service Executive and chairman of the PCCC IT Action Plan Steering Group. The theme of his presentation is The Future Direction of IT in Primary, Community and Continuing Care. Also due to speak is Dr Brian Meade, chairman ICGP Healthcare Informatics Committee, practicing GP with Kilmacud Medical Centre and board member of the Health Information Quality Authority, who will discuss the question, How will IT Change Our Roles as GPs in the Future?

Howard Beggs, chief executive of Medicom, will provide an overview of the feedback gathered to date from GPs as part of the national consultation process currently undertaken by Medicom’s Expert Group. Conference sponsor BT Ireland will also give a presentation entitled, The Future of e-Health – A Vision.

In the afternoon session there will be a review of the progress with Medicom’s Expert Group, followed by a question and answer session. The group is currently conducting what is said to be the most extensive national consultation on primary-care computerisation ever undertaken in the sector. An estimated 60pc of technology users among the GP profession are Medicom customers. The purpose of the consultation is to ensure that the next version of the company’s Dynamic GP practice management software meets their needs.

Alternatively there will be a range of workshops and information seminars on various aspects of IT in primary care on offer throughout the day. Delegates can learn about everything from new developments in technology to setting up a surgery website and how to protect a practice through backup systems and virus protection. More details on the conference are available by contacting

By Gordon Smith