Paperless GP practice?

Health care needs in older people

Three quarters of general practice teams (76%) spend over half their time doing patient documentation according to research commissioned by Nuance Communications (

The volume, the backlog, and the quality (completeness and accuracy) of patient and administrative documentation were all cited as key challenges by GP managers with regard to the practice workload and management of patient records (87%, 43% and 46% respectively).

Many GP practices look to new technology to support them in this process, with a third of practice managers (33.3%) claiming that better technology would improve the paperwork workload in their practice.

However, the majority of practice managers (70%) stated that funding is a key challenge when implementing new technology, with the time and people resources also listed as significant hurdles (67% and 63% respectively). IT knowledge and experience was cited as a barrier by two in five of doctors (40%), while data security and privacy was a concern for just 22 per cent.

Further key findings include:

·         Just 10 per cent of GPs  use speech recognition technology to support the team with patient documentation / paperwork processes

·         Over 83 per cent of practices who use speech recognition technology reported a positive impact upon patient documentation / paperwork processes at their practice

·         90 per cent of practice managers and doctors say that the creation and processing of patient documentation is a burden to their practice

·         Half of GP practices (48.5%) report that over half their patient documentation is paper not electronic

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