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Perception

GPs perception of the role of ICT in healthcare

On a whole, European GPs are quite positive about ICT's potential to improve the quality of healthcare services. On a five-point scale ranging from strong disagreement (-2) to strong agreement (+2), the EU27 average score is 1.3 — i.e. somewhere between partial and strong agreement.
The inclusion of eHealth in the curricula of medical education, more IT training for GPs and the existence of a clinical information network for all health actors are seen as facilitators for a further spread of eHealth by most of the GPs. While European GPs on average regard neither a lack of IT support nor cost as serious barriers to eHealth use, GPs from countries with low eHealth use levels — Greece, Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Latvia — perceive more and stronger barriers than their colleagues in countries with higher usage rates. A lack of IT training as well as of professional IT support and costs related to the procurement and maintenance of ICT are deemed to hamper the further uptake of eHealth in those countries.
Both the GPs' attitude towards ICT and their perception of facilitators and barriers are independent of the practitioners' age, with older GPs holding the same view as young GPs.

ICT improves the quality of healthcare services

 

Base GPs using computers 
Source empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.

GPs perception of eHealth facilitators and barriers

Base GPs using computers
Source empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.

 

Perception of facilitators and barriers by eHealth use

 

 

Base GPs using computers
Source empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.

GPs perception of impacts of ICT use

All in all, European GPs tend to see either positive impacts or no impacts emanating from the use of eHealth applications and services. Explicitly negative impacts are the exception — occurring to a noticeable degree only in two areas: the doctor-patient relationship and the workload of the practice support staff.
GPs are by and large positive about impacts on working processes, both personal ones and the processes of the practice staff. They are more ambivalent in relation to patient-related and medical impacts. For every GP being positive about those impacts there is at least one other GP not perceiving any. This is true for quality of diagnosis and treatment, the scope of the services offered by the practices, the average number of patients treated per day and the number of patients coming to the practice.
Same as for the perception of the role of ICT in healthcare, the GPs' perception of impacts of ICT use do not vary between the age groups.

Perception of eHealth impacts 1

 

Source
empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.

 

Perception of eHealth impacts 2

Source
empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.