What we need is more time – not more IT
Why not get rid of clinicians altogether and replace us with laughably simple software, then (‘GPs promised software to aid cancer diagnosis')?
Software that's not very specific or sensitive, either, I note. ‘I'm bleeding from my butt, doc, and have lost a pile of weight – should I be referred?' ‘Sorry, Mr Badcrumble... computer says no.' Good-oh.
How about increasing the time we spend with patients so we have more time to explore the potential differentials and make more accurate assessment of the risks of potential early serious pathology? No, hang on though – that would mean Mr Irate would have to wait a little longer to see me and the CBI wouldn't like that and it won't win anybody any floating votes. Do politicians realise most of us have a maximum of
10 minutes to sort out what is often a handful of problems?
Here's an idea. Increase the number of GPs, cut the numbers of managers and allow clinicians more time with patients. I bet then we would improve on sensitivity and specificity of 70% or so. Give me less time to make important decisions and I am bound to be less sensitive and specific. Not really rocket science, is it?
From Dr Andy Jones, HerefordGP IT