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07/12/2012
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07/12/2012

A Survey Of Primary Care Doctors In Ten Countries Shows Progress In Use Of Health Information Technology

Abstract

« Health reforms in high-income countries increasingly aim to redesign primary care to improve the health of the population and the quality of health care services, and to address rising costs. Primary care improvements aim to provide patients with better access to care and develop more-integrated care systems through better communication and teamwork across sites of care, supported by health information technology and feedback to physicians on their performance. Our international survey of primary care doctors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States found progress in the use of health information technology in health care practices, particularly in the United States. Yet a high percentage of primary care physicians in all ten countries reported that they did not routinely receive timely information from specialists or hospitals. Countries also varied notably in the extent to which physicians received information on their own performance. In terms of access, US doctors were the most likely to report that they spent substantial time grappling with insurance restrictions and that their patients often went without care because of costs. Signaling the need for reforms, the vast majority of US doctors surveyed said that the health care system needs fundamental change. »

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