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Bmj Usa: Letter


BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 19 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:E25

This article originally appeared in BMJ USA

Two e-letters posted on in response to the paper by Mitchell and Sullivan are reproduced (after minor editing) below.—Editor

The negative effects of computers in the doctor-patient encounter

  1. Andrew Martyn Thornett, clinical research fellow (
  1. University of Southampton, UK
  2. University of New South Wales, Australia

    Editor—In their review, Mitchell and Sullivan found no evidence that computer use during the doctor-patient encounter resulted in negative effects on patient outcomes, and they concluded that doctors and patients were generally positive about use of computers.

    Computers in the general practice consultation can improve the quality of medical care in some cases.1 Benefits have been shown in disease prevention with an improvement in immunization rates by up to 18% and other preventive services by up to 50%,2 in disease management with more appropriate dosing for drugs …

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