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UK GPs get top marks for using IT

The majority of UK GPs surveyed - 97 percent - said they use electronic medical records

The UK is 'top of the table' when it comes to using health information technology, according to the 2012 Commonwealth International Health Policy survey.

The survey of nearly 8,500 primary care doctors in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the US 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, and manage patient lists and generate patient information electronically. The majority of UK GPs surveyed - 97 percent - also said they use electronic medical records.

UK doctors also reported the highest rates when it came to feedback on their performance, with 84 percent saying they receive and review data on clinical outcomes.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said, "I am pleased that our GPs are doing very well when it comes to using electronic medical records and enabling patients to make appointments online.

"I want all patients by 2015 to be able to book GP appointments, order repeat prescriptions and talk to GP practices online. This will help people better manage their health and care."

In other health news this week research predicted that NHS acute trusts in England will be spending £830 million a year on IT in four years' time, as they respond to the axing of the National Programme for IT and other pressures.

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