Telematics in Primary Care in Europe

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This publication starts with a description of telematics in primary healthcare in the nineties, focusing on the need of the general practitioner for horizontal and vertical data transmission and support. It is identified how the applications of telematics, in the framework of primary healthcare, could be further developed to improve the quality of healthcare in Europe. In this context, quality in general practice was described as the relationship between the actual care delivered and the expectations of the various involved parties. In order to achieve this goal, the publication identifies and examines the contextual basis for the development of telematics in primary healthcare with regard to ethical, social and organisational impact and consumer perspective. The publication describes the areas where telematics may be further developed to meet the common needs of general practitioners in Europe and which are not adequately addressed by existing programmes. Three working groups participated in this publication, one looked at communication and data flow in Primary Healthcare and between primary and secondary care. The second focused on the many national projects looking at information and communication technology in primary care. The third focused on the acceptability of telematics to the consumer, the social, organisational and ethical impact of telematics in primary healthcare including aspects of equity, accessibility and interprofessional relationships.