Almost half of administrative tasks in doctor's surgeries could be automated

Almost half of administrative tasks in doctor’s surgeries could be automated
Credit: Shutterstock

With COVID-19 forcing the primary care sector to rethink priorities, a new report from Oxford suggest automation can transform doctors' surgeries, for the benefit of patients and staff.

Led by a team from Oxford Internet Institute, funded by independent charity The Health Foundation, the ground-breaking report shows how the can be embraced by GPs—freeing up countless hours for patient time but without loss of full time jobs

The team found that automation would:

  • Affect 44% of all in general practice.
  • Improve quality of care and work satisfaction.
  • Not lead to any full time jobs losses.

The report was a response to the many challenges already faced by GPs—increased workloads, workforce shortages and . The pandemic has seen primary care clinicians and support staff forced to transition rapidly to digital ways of working.

Grounded in NHS data and observations, the report provides strong evidence of where automated solutions could work in transforming primary care. Countless hours could be freed up, enabling to spend more time with patients, reduce unpaid overtime, and improve overall job satisfaction.

Tim Horton, Associate Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, said, 'Primary care was already under huge pressure before the COVID pandemic. As the NHS emerges from the current crisis, this report shows how better use of digital technology could help reduce administrative burdens on staff, freeing up more time to focus on patients, and in doing so could be one element of the broader strategy needed to reduce pressures in , alongside better recruitment and retention.'

"The Future of Healthcare: Computerisation, Automation and General Practice Services" is published today in British Medical Journal Open.

More information: Matthew Willis et al. Qualitative and quantitative approach to assess of the potential for automating administrative tasks in general practice, BMJ Open (2020). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032412
Journal information: BMJ Open

Citation: Almost half of administrative tasks in doctor's surgeries could be automated (2020, June 10) retrieved 2 December 2022 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Australian primary health care nurses losing work during pandemic


Feedback to editors