10 May 2016
print version

Q. Are there up-to-date figures for how many GPs in Ireland are computerised?

A. Thanks to the recently published report 'Structure of General Practice in Ireland 1982-2015' we know quite a bit about the level of information technology adoption by Irish GPs. The research was funded by the ICGP and carried out by Mark O'Kelly, Conor Teljeur, Fergus O'Kelly, Aisling Ni Shúilleabháin and Tom O'Dowd in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care in Trinity College Dublin. The report is available at www.tcd.ie and can be found by doing a search for the exact title of the document. Information on practice computerisation starts on page 36:

  • Ninety-four per cent of GPs are now using electronic medical records, with the figure at 100% in those aged less than 40, and 87% in GPs aged 60 or over
  • Eighty-nine per cent of GPs are using software routinely to facilitate electronic prescribing, 90% to record clinical notes, 79% to alert potential drug interactions, and 91% to access lab results
  • Ninety-two per cent of GPs can generate a list of patients by diagnosis from their computer systems.

The figure for GPs ordering laboratory tests electronically is low at 26% and this reflects the fact that online ordering of laboratory tests is only available at a few hospitals in the Dublin area, via Healthlink. This will likely change with the implementation of MedLIS, the new national medical laboratory information system later this year.

Use of email to communicate with patients is also low, unsurprisingly. There are problems with security when exchanging clinical information over normal email, and problems with reimbursement if email is the sole method of engaging with a patient.

One other figure which stands out from the research is that the GP population is now estimated at 2,932, an 18% increase since 2005.

Learn More To give you the best possible experience, our sites use cookies. Continuing with cookies enabled means you're OK with this. Click Learn More for more information about our cookies, and how to disable them. ×