Google the tool of choice for Australian doctors

A study published in this month’s Australian Family Physician shows that more than half of Australian general practitioners use the Internet during a consultation, and Google is the most common website they visit, at a rate higher than the next five most popular websites combined.

More than half of all respondents (56%) – and every one of the doctors surveyed in the 20-30 age group – used the Internet during consultations. Looks like the millions spent by the government offering free broadband to GPs all around Australia has had some payoff, with 93% of respondents using broadband in their practice and only 3% on dial-up. Interestingly, only 63% of the GPs said they used email at work (though 92% used it at home) – more work to be done to move to email consultations (aside from reimbursement issues).

Ninety per cent used a clinical software package, with 98% of those using the package for prescribing, 85% to order tests and 64% to record progress notes.

The study was conducted by Edith Cowan University and was based on 1,186 surveys from the Osborne Division of General Practice in Perth.