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eHealth use in the EU 2002 - 2007

GPs perception of the role of ICT in healthcare

In the past five years, the share of GPs active in eHealth in the former EU15 has increased. As regards ICT infrastructure, the share of practices that use a computer has gone up from 81% in 2002 to 90% in 2007. The Internet — or dedicated GP networks — are nowadays used by 72% of the EU15 GPs, as compared to 63% in 2002.
Continuous education and the search for prescribing information were and are the most frequent use case for an Internet connection. The latter was done by 35% in 2002 and has nearly doubled to 62% today.
Electronic patient data transfer is becoming ever more prevalent, even if actual use rates among the EU15 countries still leave some room for improvement, depending on the application under observation. The share of GPs engaging in patient data transfer went up from 17% to 63% in the past five years. Transfer of laboratory results such as blood sample or ECG data occurs more often today (54%) than it did five years ago (11%). Transfer of administrative patient data to reimbursing organisations and to other health care providers each went up to 22% from 6% and 5% respectively in 2002. In relation to transfer of medical patient data there has been an increase from 8% to 28%. ePrescribing was done by about 3% of the EU15 GPs in 2002 and is done today by about 11%.
A comparison with the 2007 results for all 27 EU Member States shows that the enlargement of the Union did not have much impact — neither positive nor negative — on the developments in the past five years. The 2007 figures for the EU15 are in most cases nearly identical to the EU27 figures. Deviations of 5 percentage points and more can be found in relation to the search for prescribing information and the general transfer of patient data.

Comparison of eHealth use in the EU15 and EU27 in 2002 - 2007

Use patterns of GPs practicing electronic patient data exchange 2002 - 2007

empirica, Pilot on eHealth Indicators, 2007.