13 March 2017
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Q. We are a practice that still has manual files. Time has come for computerisation but we are clueless! Any advice for computer phobics?

A. In terms of computerisation of your practice, it would be useful for you to talk to one of the GPIT advisors. If you let Niamh Killeen of the ICGP know your contact details, she could arrange for the GPIT advisor in your area to get in touch. The first step for you will be to achieve reasonable computer skills for practice staff. This means taking adult education courses on computers at local schools or colleges. You may also need to consider hiring additional staff with computer skills.

The ICGP courses are usually around specific topics, such as e-referrals or Healthmail rather than general courses on how to use GP practice software systems. For the latter, you need to purchase training days from the GP vendor from whom you are purchasing software.

This is a major step for your practice and you should be clear about what's involved, both financially and in terms of resources. A good first step is to talk with practice managers in local computerised practices and to talk with a GPIT advisor.

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