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The European Commission published the Final Report on Benchmarking Deployment of eHealth among General Practitioners

March 24, 2014

GPs_Final_Report2

The European Commission published the Final Report on Benchmarking Deployment of eHealth among General Practitioners (2013) funded by Unit 4 of DG CONNECT today. The study comprised a survey among General Practitioners in 31 countries (EU 27 + Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) to measure and explain levels of availability and adoption of eHealth applications and services. A random sample of 9,196 GPs was interviewed and its data processed using sophisticate multivariate statistical techniques.

Findings suggest that access to, and use of, basic ICT in the consultation room has become almost universal in all countries (97% of the sample). For more advanced features such as Electronic Health Records (EHR), Health Information Exchange (HIE), Telehealth and Personal Health Records (PHR), however, the data reveals that more progress is needed. Despite progress compared to 2007 levels, adoption of eHealth continues to be limited for HIE, Telehealth and PHR.  Some basic forms of EHR are nowadays available to about 93% of GPs, but more advanced features remain less widespread. Levels of adoption were found to be influenced by individual characteristics and attitudes of GPs, as well as by country level effects and percpetion of impact and barriers. The majority of GPs place more emphasis on barriers than on benefits – identifying lack of financial incentives and resources, lack of inter-operability and a lack of a regulatory framework on confidentiality and provacy issues as the main barriers.

The registered adoption levels suggest that were are still very far from reaching the target and objectives defined for eHealth both in the Digital Agenda for Europe and in the 2012 eHealth Action Plan – calling for increased policy efforts to facilitate uptake.

The study forms part of earlier research projects conducted by Open Evidence Staff.