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Woe betide those who dump their IT provider



As a GP, you can face many tribulations over the course of your career: a particularly tricky diagnostic conundrum, a vexatious complaint, the gradually dawning realisation that everything about the job you once found joyful and exhilarating has turned to ashes and you are left effectively wasting your precious remaining years on something which actively makes you unwell; the list goes on. All of these pale into insignificance, however, when compared with the ordeal my partners and I have wilfully foisted upon ourselves this week. We’ve succumbed to federation pressure and changed our electronic patient record provider.

You’re reduced to hunting and pecking like your nan trying to send a text

Never do this. NEVER. DO. THIS. It’s the GP equivalent of a midlife-crisis-induced messy divorce; unceremoniously jettisoning a faithful yet frustrating old stalwart for a mysteriously alluring temptress, only to discover that that the temperamental new flame is in many ways worse than the vengeful ex. Then you find out the two of them have colluded to spitefully miscode all your drug dosages, which you now have to re-input tediously by hand, only you suddenly find yourself robbed of all the keyboard shortcuts which you’ve spent painstaking years building into your muscle memory like some kind of FP10 Mr Miyagi, so you’re reduced to hunting and pecking like your nan trying to send a text.

Basically this week sucks.

We’re lucky, at least, in our choice of EPR, as the coding on a rival’s QRisk2 tool turns out to be ropier than John Whittingdale’s Amazon Wish List. As a result thousands of people may potentially have had their cardiovascular risk over-or-possibly-under-estimated, although mercifully it appears no QOF points have been affected.

I don’t want to seem flippant about this, but, aside from the fact that Qrisk2 is about as accurate as an Imperial Stormtrooper with asterixis, which is actually worse? Being given NICE-unsanctioned advice because of a computer bug, or because you happened to see another GP with a different position on the WaldKendrick Statin Affinity spectrum, or simply because you attended a year earlier, before the cut off for cholesterol treatment was halved from one entirely arbitrary industry-approved target to another one? It’s the GPs who’ll have to spend hours working through lists of patients to sort out the mess I feel sorry for. At least the lucky bastards will have keyboard shortcuts.

Dr Pete Deveson is a GP in Surrey. You can follow him on Twitter @PeteDeveson