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A qualitative evaluation of general practitioners’ views on protocol-driven eReferral in Scotland

Bouamrane, Matt-Mouley and Mair, Frances S. (2014) A qualitative evaluation of general practitioners’ views on protocol-driven eReferral in Scotland. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 14. ISSN 1472-6947

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Abstract

The ever increasing volume of referrals from primary care to specialist services is putting considerable pressure on resource-constrained health services while effective communication across fragmented services remains a substantial challenge. Previous studies have suggested that electronic referrals (eReferral) can bear important benefits for cross-organisational processes and patient care management. We conducted 25 semi-structured interviews and 1 focus group with primary care providers to elucidate General Practitioners’ (GPs) perspectives on information management processes in the patient pathway in NHSScotland, 1 focus group with members of the Scottish Electronic Patient Record programme and one interview with a senior architect of the Scottish Care Information national eReferral System (SCI Gateway). Using Normalisation Process Theory, we performed a qualitative analysis to elucidate GPs’ perspectives on eReferral to identify the factors which they felt either facilitated or hindered referral processes.