The use ICT across healthcare functions, known as eHealth, is an important target of the EU Information Society policy as shows the ambitious programmes set for the healthcare system networks, professionals tools and users access. The main driver for stimulating the adoption of ICT in healthcare has been the ageing of the population, but there are other relevant factors such as the shrinking workforce, the rise of health consumerism, and the need for more integrated care. Primary care plays a key role in the development of integrated care as it is positioned at the cross-roads between secondary care, social care and long term care. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are several human and organisational factors (drivers and barriers) that are important determinants of the adoption of ICT by General Practitioners (GPs). Some of these factors are the perceived usefulness and ease of use, design and technical concerns, cost, time, privacy and security issues, and familiarity with the technology.
Open Evidence in consortium with RAND Europe has been commissioned to conduct the “Study on Benchmarking Deployment of eHealth among General Practitioners”, which is carried out on behalf of the Directorate-General CONNECT of the European Commission. The general objective is to measure the use of ICT and eHealth applications by primary care physicians in the EU 28 Member States and Norway. With this aim, a survey will be conducted among GPs to collect key data and indicators related to the use of Internet and other ICT based applications for their work, which will reveal the level of adoption and implementation of health applications, networks and services by GPs. The findings will enable us to identify the main drivers of change and the factors that can enhance or inhibit the role and use of technologies, and to update on that base a typology of doctors’ utilisation of ICT based tools and services. The results will be compared with those of the previous study conducted in 2013.