âGeneral practice is private practice, albeit one that attracts significant amounts of government subsidy, in the sense that Medicare usually pays a significant amount of a GPs income. GP systems had already started to be adopted, driven by a specific need. Computers started to arrive because Australian GPs identified a key area that computers could improve their workflow. Australian prescribing regulations are very complex, because of the structure of government subsidies . Whether a drug is on prescription or not is a state regulation, but on top of that the federal government subsidizes a raft of medications. So a simple medication such as diclofenac, comes in two different strengths and three different pack sizes, as well as suppositories and injections, and is supplied by several companies under different brand names. Sometimes a drug can be prescribed easily for one condition, but requires a phone call to the responsible government agency for a different indication. Four times a year this list would be updated, with multiple changes. Remembering what pack sizes and how many repeats was confusing, and forever looking up the âyellowâ book was time consuming. So the first computer programs were little more than electronic prescribing packages, navigating the many variationsâ The Adoption of Computers by Australian General Practice Pearce C. Thus most of the future developments in the field of general practice rely on the computerization of the treatment strategies.
Last date updated on June, 2014