Survey shows UK GPs lead the way in using health technology

The recently published 2012 Commonwealth International Health Policy survey shows that primary care doctors in the UK lead the way when it comes to using health information technology.

C. Schoen, R. Osborn, et al. A Survey of Primary Care Doctors in Ten Countries Shows Progress in Use of Health Information Technology, Less in Other Areas. Health Affairs Web First, published online Nov. 15, 2012.

The survey of nearly 8,500 primary care doctors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States reports that more than two thirds of GPs in the UK said their practices had multi-functional capacity. For example, they can order prescriptions or diagnostic tests online, manage patient lists and generate patient information electronically. The majority of UK GPs surveyed, 97 per cent, also said that they use electronic medical records.

The 2012 survey builds on The Commonwealth Fund’s 2009 survey of primary care physicians, which included these same countries, except Switzerland.

Other findings include:

  • Compared to the other countries the UK tops the list for providing after hours care for patients and for reporting that their practices used nurse case managers.
  • UK doctors also reported the highest rates when it came to feedback on their performance with 84 per cent saying that they receive and review data on clinical outcomes.
  • UK doctors are also in the top three for saying that they were satisfied or very satisfied practicing medicine.