Recent advances in computer hardware, software and telecommunications, and particularly in the development of the electronic medical record, mean that family practitioners around the world now have access to a multiplicity of tools which offer the potential for significant time savings and improved quality of healthcare provision. Areas such as practice management medication management and prescription generation, clinical record keeping, decision support, medical research and continuing medical education can all be aided through the use of information technology in a family practice setting. Yet family medicine, or general practice, has largely been slow to take up the challenge of implementing information technology in most parts of the Asia-Pacific region. This contrasts sharply with many other areas of medicine which have been very active in embracing this technology. This paper examines the potential advantages and the difficulties of computerisation for general practitioners and their patients in the Asia-Pacific region. It is hoped that the lessons already learned in some countries in this region can be adapted and applied elsewhere.
- Family doctor
- Implementation barriers