UK and Croatia: Family practice, its medical records and computerisation in the context of an enlarged Europe
de Lusignan S., Katić M.
Background: Croatia and the UK have list-based general practice systems: patients register with a single practice. They are also progressively computerising family practice. We set out to identify and report where these countries might learn from each other's experience. Method: Experiences, similarities and differences were derived from a literature review and visits to practices in Croatia and the UK. Results: Both countries had developed unique but sophisticated paper-based primary care record systems. They have now moved to promote the computerisation of primary care; both countries see this as integral to patient safety, quality improvement and derivation of data for health service management. However, the development of primary care computing has been an organic process with small suppliers producing trial systems with natural selection of the more effective system. Conclusions: IT has the potential to improve patient safety and the quality and efficiency of primary care. The lack of a theoretical framework for the comparison of systems hampers the development and selection of an optimum system. © 2007 PHCSG, British Computer Society.