The advent of e-health: the future is up to us

IN AN age where our teenage children can download movies off super-fast broadband Internet connections, you could be forgiven for thinking that the progress in general practice computerisation has been inch by inch. But is this still the case?

Over the past few years, I have travelled to many different general practices as part of my role as an Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL) surveyor and I have seen the progress away from paper-based records, to hybrid (paper and computer), to (finally) fully computerised medical records.

It is happening… We now have MBS item numbers to encourage us to take a further step and move to the realms of video consultations. These new item numbers will hopefully be a first step in directly recognising the importance and need for ongoing progress in the use of technology to make our job easier and our patients’ satisfaction with primary care greater. 

Currently, the MBS item