The purpose of this paper is to examine existing information technology (IT) options for child and adolescent psychiatry (CAP) and to propose a strategy for continuing developments in the light of current NHS policy and priorities. It is the outcome of discussions among a group of colleagues within the South West Thames Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. I offer it for discussion as the issues facing us have obvious wider relevance to the profession. The case for investment in health care IT systems has been made most recently in Working Paper 11: Framework for Information Systems (HMSO, 1989). The priorities spelled out in the paper are for management of contracts, measurement of quality of care, costing of services and management of resources.
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