What Do General Practices Really, Really Think? (About The Use of Information Technology)

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In February, HealthLink undertook a survey of general practices’ attitudes to the use of information technology.   We were interested in learning whether or not the emergence of the Internet and related technologies had changed practices’ attitudes to patient privacy, how much practices used their computers during clinical consultations and how keen they were to use their computers to find information about patients from remote sources.

We surveyed 1,042 New Zealand general practices and received 364 responses (a 35% response rate).  The results were interesting.  Our overall assessment is that New Zealand’s general practices continue to take a very conservative stance on health information privacy but are open to sharing patient information (both getting information from other sources and allowing their information to be accessed), provided that they are assured that appropriate information security and privacy measures are in place. Because they have been high users of information technology for the past 15- 20 years, New Zealand’s general practices are well aware of the important risks and challenges that HIT poses to patient privacy and the enormous importance of maintaining the public’s trust in the health system.

You can read the full survey findings here.

Author: Tom Bowden

Date Published: 27.05.2013