A utilização das tecnologias de informação e comunicação pelos médicos de família portugueses. Um estudo exploratório
Revista Portuguesa de Clínica Geral
Objective: In the present paper we provide a quantitative assessment on the role of ICTs in Family Physicians/General Practitioners (GPs) medical daily practice and scientific performance. Study design: Cross-sectional survey. Setting: Portugal. Participants: Portuguese family physicians. Results: Based on the responses of 342 GPs, we concluded that 94% uses the Internet and 57% agrees that the Internet is essential to their medical daily practice, a slightly below percentage that (62%)
... for other European physicians. GPs tend to use Internet to a large extent for professional purposes. On average, they spent 10 hours/week in the Internet for professional purposes. Data further shows that to posses or to be enrolled in advanced training fosters the use of the Internet for professional purposes, which in its turn tends to grant GPs the access to more and up to date information and knowledge on these matters. Conclusion: Telemedicine at the workplace is thus still a chimera. Notwithstanding such dishearten scenario, our data shows that the Internet for the respondent GPs has a critical role on updating and improving their professional knowledge basis. They recognise, however, that the vast majority of GPs lack specific and general training in ICTs related technologies, with half of them agreeing that they need to attend specific training actions on ICTs. Given that a large percentage of GPs admitted that in the previous year did not take any professional training targeting ICTs, and those that did undertook rather short-term (less than one week) courses, such training handicap uncovers an effective risk of a large part of Portuguese GPs been unable to reap the benefits of ICTs in their daily medical practice.