This Week In The Bmj

Computer use in primary care lengthens consultations and increases generic prescribing

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 03 February 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:g

Computers are now widely used in primary care. Mitchell and Sullivan (p 279) systematically reviewed studies showing the effect of computers on primary care consultations. They found that computer use lengthened consultations, increased generic prescribing, and led to fewer unnecessary tests. The studies showed no negative impacts on the outcomes studied, but doctors and patients worried about computers' impact on privacy and on the doctor-patient relationship