E-health sparks ‘seismic shift’ amid GPs, specialists

New Zealand Health Workforce executive chair Professor Des Gorman, speaking at the GPRA conference in Canberra last week, said the introduction of an electronic health record would put an end to GPs “losing” patients to specialists who failed to communicate effectively.

“A shared care record is about a shift in power,” he said. “It’s about the patient and the GP managing the patient journey, regardless of the setting.

“The big change will be to restore the status of general practice within the system.”

Professor Gorman told conference delegates the only way the healthcare system could survive the coming surge in demand was for GPs to make the most of their training and leave other tasks like prescribing to nurses and pharmacists.

“We’re training [pharmacists] for four years to dispense medications but we don’t allow them to prescribe,” he said.

“That

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