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Aust Fam Physician. 2010 Jul;39(7):506-9.

Enabling research in general practice--increasing functionality of electronic medical records.

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School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Queensland.



With an estimated 80% of Australians visiting a general practitioner at least once a year, the data generated by GPs is a rich source of the overall health profile of patients. However, this data is rarely used to report on health outcomes.


This article reports on the use of remote access of electronic medical records (EMRs) for the purpose of collecting data during a collaborative research project involving the staff of three general practices and an external research team.


Throughout the project numerous benefits to remotely accessing general practice EMRs were identified. However, there remain some difficulties which need to be addressed. An increased functionality of the software programs used in general practice is required, along with improvements in the utilisation of the software capabilities. Collaboration between clinicians, researchers and clinical software developers will be vital to advance this process.

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