Background: Information and communication technology (ICT) and paperless practices have been shown to improve “existing processes in the workplace” “as well as being an important component of modern primary healthcare”. The aim of our study was to analyse the attitudes of health-care professionals and patients with regard to paperless practice and the most frequently used information and communication technology tools in Slovenian primary healthcare.
Methods and participants: Qualitative methodology using focus groups of 22 primary care physicians, 14 nurses and 18 patients.
Results: The areas recognised by all participants as important for further information and communication technology development were: computer-supported decision making, accessibility and completeness of personal e-health data, emergency cases, support for chronic disease management, ICT related time savings, e-prescriptions and e-discharge letters. The most important identified barriers impeding the use of ICT were: the heavy workload of primary care physicians and nurses, health insurance reimbursement rules and duplication of work using both paper and electronic health records.
Conclusions: This study highlighted a number of strengths of ICT use in primary care as well as numerous areas where changes in procedures and improvement of ICT tools to support them are needed.